British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, London

Donohoe concerned over UK law moves

Minister of State Paschal Donohoe: Worried about implications of UK moves

Minister of State Paschal Donohoe: Worried about implications of UK moves


Ireland is concerned by British government efforts to water down European Union co-operation in the fight against crime, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Paschal Donohoe told MPs in London.

The British intend to pull out of 130 EU judicial and home affairs agreements by May 2014, but to opt back in to 35 of them.

This includes the European Arrest Warrant, which it is opting back into only under changed terms.

In a speech to the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Donohoe said the Government wants to work with London and the European Commission to “deal with any consequences” that will flow from such action.

He told MPs, TDs, Scottish parliamentarians and politicians from the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands that Ireland welcomed discussion about the role of EU member states.

“But I am worried when I consider the implications of a discussion which focuses on the role of the UK outside of the EU.”

Fundamentally changed
Noting that Ireland would “be directly affected”, he said: “It cannot be denied that the overall terms of our partnership will be fundamentally changed if both of us have to come to the door of the tent to do business.”

Ireland’s interests can best be achieved inside the EU: “It is because of this that Ireland is an integrated and committed member of the EU community. And will remain so.”

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villier said Ireland should overtake France as the UK’s third largest export market for goods and services by 2028.

Currently, Irish exports of services to the UK are higher than anywhere else, while the combined exports between both countries supports some 400,000 jobs, she said.