The European People’s Party has appointed Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly to the key position of standing rapporteur for the UK in the European Parliament’s international trade committee.

Many hope the promotion will allow Irish interests to come to the fore in the committee’s discussions on Brexit, as the role will also involve Kelly coming to prominence in the Parliament’s UK contact group.

“Considering the implications of Brexit on Ireland, as well as the current tensions surrounding the protocol, it’s important to have an influential Irish voice in the European Parliament in the discussions moving forward,” Kelly commented.


While announcing his acceptance of the position, the Kerry native also made his thoughts known on EU-UK co-operation in the near future.

“While there is worry about the uncertainty surrounding the next phase of our relationship, the implementation of the treaty is a priority for the EU, not only in terms of citizens’ rights, but specifically regarding the Northern Ireland protocol.

“Its proper implementation would provide stability for businesses, citizens and farmers on both sides of the border,” continued Kelly.

"There are solutions to be found, particularly in the area of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and it is imperative that they are for everyone that is involved.

“However, this must be a give and take, not a situation where one party decides not to implement measures it agreed to or act unilaterally,” he said.