Coveney to update Cabinet on negotiation progress

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney is expected to update Cabinet today on the latest developments in Brexit negotiations and the Government’s preparation for a possible no-trade-deal crash-out by the UK.

Mr Coveney is to provide a progress report on the Brexit Readiness Action Plan while Justice Minister Helen McEntee will separately face TDs’ and senators’ questions on her department’s input into the Coalition’s new ‘Brexit Omnibus Bill’.

Measures on extradition, immigration and recognising divorces post-Brexit are to be included in the wide-ranging Bill that covers changes to the law that could be required across several Government departments.

Amid renewed negotiations between the EU and UK, and a crunch EU summit on Brexit next week, sources said Mr Coveney will brief ministerial colleagues on the state of play in the talks. He will also update on preparations to make sure infrastructure like ports and airports are ready.

Ms McEntee will take questions from the Oireachtas Justice Committee about her department’s contribution to the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2020.

The final Omnibus Bill is to come before the Dáil and Seanad later in the autumn.

Ahead of today’s meeting with Ms McEntee, justice committee chairman James Lawless said: “Brexit is an enormous challenge for Ireland and raises many complex issues for our citizens and businesses from January 1, 2021, once the UK’s transition out of the EU has ended.”

He said the justice sections of the Omnibus Bill includes measures to be enacted if there’s no deal between the UK and EU and includes a provision to allow extradition arrangements to continue once the UK leaves the European Arrest Warrant scheme.

It also covers immigration matters such as giving a clear legal basis for excluding British citizens from passport checks within the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK.