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Government Statement on Guiding Principles on the Dialogue for Ireland/Northern Ireland

The Irish Government welcomes and supports the European Commission Task Force’s paper on Guiding Principles for Ireland/Northern Ireland in the context of the Brexit negotiations.  

The paper clearly reflects the continuing close engagement between Ireland and the EU Task Force and builds on the European Council Guidelines and subsequent negotiation mandate, in which Ireland’s concerns and priorities were strongly acknowledged. Our priorities remain protecting the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process, including by avoiding a hard border, and maintaining the Common Travel Area. 

The Irish Government welcomed last month’s UK position paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland which was a timely and helpful input. However the UK’s aspirations need to be backed by substantive commitments and workable solutions. 

This week’s EU paper set out principles which will form an important basis for negotiating those solutions with the UK. As the Task Force’s paper makes clear, the principles reflected in this paper must underpin any arrangements and solutions to be proposed, developed and agreed in future negotiations. 

The paper will be discussed by the EU27 ahead of the next round of EU-UK negotiations later this month. Ireland will continue to work closely with the European Commission Task Force and with our EU27 partners on these issues and all other matters in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. 


Coinciding with publication of the Task Force document, the Government has published two detailed information notes on the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area.

They are available at