The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD travelled to Hungary this week (Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th April) for a series of bilateral meetings with his EU counterparts. These meetings form part of an ongoing programme of engagement by Irish government Ministers with EU Member States in an effort to build awareness of the unique impacts of Brexit on Ireland and to hear fellow Member State views regarding Brexit. To date there has been over 400 engagements undertaken by the Irish Government with remaining EU member states and the EU institutions regarding Brexit.
During the course of the Minister’s 2 day visit to Hungary, he met with the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Lázsló Szabó, State Secretary for EU Affairs, Szabolcs Takács, and State Secretary at the Ministry of National Economy, Mr István Lepsényi.
Minister Breen used these meetings to set out the significance of the impact on Ireland of the UK’s departure from the EU, and conveyed the unique nature of Ireland’s position as the Member State most directly affected by the UK’s exit.
The Minister also discussed broader EU trade and single market issues, including progress on the EU’s global trade negotiations, and the Commission’s initiatives to achieve progress on strengthening Europe’s Single Market, especially for services. The Minister underlined Irish support for the EU’s trade agenda in order to ensure that Irish exporters gain greater market share in existing markets and improved terms of entry to new markets, and urging progress on the EU’s trade negotiations.
Minister Breen noted that “as Minister with responsibility for the Small Business sector it is important to raise awareness among our EU counterparts of the unique position of Ireland in regard to Brexit. It’s also key to hear the views of our fellow EU partners on the impact Brexit is having on their small businesses and overall trade agenda – for example, this series of meetings highlighted a range of common concerns for businesses in both Ireland and Hungary. Both countries are committed to protecting and improving the environment for business, and will work to achieve this through the common EU approach to negotiations”.