Minister Flanagan visits London for a series of Brexit meetings, 7 December 2016
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, was in London on Wednesday 7 December for a series of meetings, with the key focus being on Brexit. The Minister also discussed broader Northern Ireland issues and hosted an event marking the conclusion of the 1916 Centenary programme in the UK.
The Minister began the day by meeting with a group of UK based members of Ireland's Global Irish Network. The Minister stated:
"The Irish government deeply appreciates the commitment to the Irish community abroad of our Global Irish Network around the world. This morning I was pleased to hear first-hand the perspectives of some of our most successful diaspora on the challenges and opportunities of Brexit."
In Westminster his political meetings included engagement with Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for Exiting the EU; with Labour Shadow SoS for NI, Dave Anderson and with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain. Minister Flanagan has already had a number of meetings with UK Cabinet Ministers David Davis, Boris Johnson and James Brokenshire regarding Ireland's concerns and priorities in the context of Brexit.
Commenting on his political meetings, Minister Flanagan said:
"I was delighted to have an opportunity for discussions on Brexit with parliamentarians from a range of different parties today in Westminster. I explained the approach and views of the Irish government and learned more about the work underway at party level and in Westminster.
"As a parliamentarian for over 25 years I am particularly conscious of the importance of broadening engagement beyond government ministers. I value the perspective and role of parliamentarians and today's meetings were particularly useful.
"I also had a good discussion with Dave Anderson MP on developments in Northern Ireland. I affirmed the Irish Government's strong commitment to the full implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements, including the crucial issue of establishing the institutions for dealing with the legacy of the past. I reiterated our dedication to protecting the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, to maintaining an invisible border and to protecting our island economy in the context of Brexit."