Friday, 19 February 2021
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I have taken strong note of what the Senator has said on what is a really important issue. There are huge challenges for citizens across a number of sectors, North and South, with regard to the all-island economy. We all agree that those problems caused by Brexit require solutions. We have solutions to some problems, such as the CTA, and we have a trade agreement with Britain which resolves some problems but does not resolve every problem. The protocol is the solution to the problem of Brexit. Brexit is a problem for us - there is no two ways about it - and it is a problem for a number of professionals. This is a priority for the Government, however, and it will work to support ongoing work between the European Union and the UK in this context.
Individuals concerned can take note of the current measures for the recognition of professional qualifications and they can contact the regulatory bodies as issues arise. Regulatory bodies have been asked to do this work, and I know they are co-operating and doing as much as they can. The co-operation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on an all-island basis remains an important priority, including the new transition context. It is a central part of the Good Friday Agreement and it is essential for achieving reconciliation, social development and economic progress on the island of Ireland.