Recently Brian Hayes MEP announced he will not be contesting next year’s European Parliament elections. Hayes added “My decision brings to an end to my role in active front line politics, something that has been a constant in my life over the last 25 years. There comes a time for everyone in politics to leave the stage – for me that time is now. Being elected to public office is a great honour. I have never taken it for granted. I remain deeply grateful to the trust placed in me by the public in each of the eight elections I have contested. It has been a privilege to serve Fine Gael as a Councillor, Senator, TD, Minister and MEP. I am taking this decision for family and professional reasons. There is life after politics. I gave a promise to the people of Dublin that if elected in 2014 that I would serve a full five-year term in the European Parliament. I stand by that commitment and therefore will serve out my mandate.”

The MEP continued “Under the Article 50 procedure, the European Parliament has the power to ratify the final Brexit deal. All Irish MEPs must continue to make the case for Ireland in their respective political groups across the European Parliament. I am especially conscious of my responsibility as an Irish MEP, given what is at stake for Ireland, to continue in my role until the Brexit outcome is known. At the end of my mandate in Parliament, I will be taking up a new role as CEO of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). I am looking forward to working with the BPFI team and the Financial Services industry as a whole, to help reposition the sector as a crucial driver for real investment and growth in Ireland’s future.”