ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed the appointment of French politician Michel Barnier as chief negotiator for Brexit on behalf of the European Commission.
Mr Barnier is a former French Minister for Agriculture and an EU Commissioner. According to the ICSA president, the appointment is a welcome development for Ireland in view of the fact that Mr Barnier is very familiar with the issues relevant to Ireland from his positions as EU Commissioner, as a Minister for Agriculture and as an MEP.
“Mr Barnier has visited Ireland and is well known to many present and former Irish politicians including MEPs. It is also significant that a French negotiator has been appointed in view of the positive Brexit meeting held between our Taoiseach and the French president recently.
It was clear that President Hollande acknowledges the special issues for Ireland arising from Brexit. ICSA believes that the Irish government must ensure that it is closely involved in ensuring that Ireland’s interests are kept to the fore in all negotiations because the terms of a Brexit deal will be so critical.”