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 Full text 
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Proposed mandate for negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (B9-0098/2020)

  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, just to say at the outset: I welcome the opportunity to speak on this very important issue, particularly in the context of Ireland itself and the citizens in Northern Ireland, in particular. While this is primarily about a trade deal with the UK and the European Union over the next number of months, it is critically important that Irish citizens are kept at the heart of this particular debate. There are hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens – who are European Union citizens as well – who are now living in Northern Ireland, outside of the European Union. I think that we have to when debating these issues – and I make no apologies for consistently raising the concerns of many Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland, so it must be at the heart of it. The integrity of the Good Friday Agreement must be upheld in any future deal as well.

Finally, professional qualification recognition is something that will have to be to the fore to ensure that people can work on both sides of the border and that professional qualifications are recognised on both sides – in the UK and the European Union – and that is critically important to the free movement of people on the island of Ireland.

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