Exclusive: Ireland will be “conscious” of Scottish interests in Brexit talks, government minister says

29/11/2016
michael

Irish government minister expresses sympathy for Scotland’s Brexit dilemma 

SCOTLAND’S DEMOCRATIC VOTE to remain in the European Union will be part of the Irish Government’s Brexit negotiating agenda, an Irish government minister told CommonSpace. 

Denis Naughten, Ireland’s minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said that Scotland’s pro-EU vote and calls for a special status in Brexit talks would be issues that the Irish government would be “conscious” of during negotiations. 

Joining a range of pro-Scotland voices in Ireland’s parliament, minister Naughten said that the vote in Scotland to remain within the EU was an issue that his government was “conscious” of. 

Scots-Irish renewables leaders hail business cooperation on energy

The minister told CommonSpace: “Are we conscious of the issues in relation to the Scots? Yes of course we are. There was a substantial vote in Scotland in favour of remaining in the European Union. And as part of the team that will be negotiating with the British government in relation to the fallout from Brexit, we will be conscious of that issue.” 

The support gives a boost to efforts for to reach a Scottish compromise deal, where the country remains within the European Single Market. 

Since a majority of Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU, the Scottish Government has sought support from EU institutions and member states – and will publish a negotiating plan before the end of the year. 

Ireland – where various leaders have expressed sympathy for Scotland’s position – will be one of the 27 EU states negotiating with the Tory UK Government over Brexit. 

Naughten added that efforts will be made to deepen cooperation between Scotland and Ireland.

Specifically, he commended Scottish Government cabinet secretary Rosanna Cunningham’s approach on climate and renewable energy issues.

Nicola Sturgeon begins two day trip to strengthen Scots-Irish relations 

“I spoke with Rosanna Cunningham at a bilateral in Brussels a number of weeks ago – learning from what the Scots have done to support community engagement, community ownership of renewable energy projects,” he added.

Naughten joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for a meeting in Dublin yesterday (Monday 28 November) concerning the joint SSE-Coillte Galway Wind Farm project. 

Sturgeon said Brexit, which includes meetings with high level Irish politicians, was “in the backdrop of [her] visit”. Today (Tuesday 29 November) she will address the Irish senate, becoming the first serving head of government to do so. 

Picture courtesy of Conor McCabe

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