Brexit: Donohoe tells Hammond transitional deal is essential

Minister for Finance also stresses to British chancellor the need to avoid a hard Border

Downing Street talks: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and British chancellor Philip Hammond. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Downing Street talks: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and British chancellor Philip Hammond. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

 

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has told his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, that transitional arrangements after Brexit are essential to provide stability for businesses and consumers.

The two men met for an hour at 11 Downing Street; afterwards Mr Donohoe said he emphasised three points to the chancellor.

“The first one is how important we believe it to be that transitional agreements are in place between the EU and the UK to offer an environment of certainty to trading relationships,” he told The Irish Times.

“The second point was the imperative of making sure we don’t return to a hard Border on our island. And the third area was the importance of trading relationships between Ireland and the UK, and trying to develop a new trading relationship between the EU and the UK that allows this trade to continue.”

Mr Donohoe declined to speculate about how long any transitional arrangement should last after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union or what form it should take. He said the European Commission was negotiating with London on such matters on behalf of the entire EU and the Government was engaging with the commission.

He said, however, that the issue of transitional arrangements was central to the prospect of a flourishing economic relationship between the UK and Ireland after Brexit.

“There are a whole variety of issues that are in play, and I think that’s a matter that’s important to the British government and the governments of the European Union,” he said. “But this is an issue that the Irish Government has now been emphasising for quite a while, that, given the magnitude of matters that do need to be resolved, what Irish, British and European consumers need is an atmosphere of greater certainty. And we think it is sensible to plan for transitional agreements that might allow that to happen,” he said.

Mr Donohoe invited the chancellor to visit Dublin, and the two men have agreed to meet again after the summer.