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Minister Flanagan to meet UK Foreign Secretary during visit to London

Diplomatic Relations, European Union, Ireland, Irish abroad, Minister Charles Flanagan, Trade, Press Releases, Great Britain, 2016

 

Minister to reiterate Ireland’s clear position in favour of the UK remaining in a reformed EU

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, is in London today, Tuesday 5 April, for a series of engagements, including a meeting with his UK opposite number, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond MP.

The Minister’s programme also includes an extensive round of contacts with leading figures in Irish community groups in the UK, the opposition Labour Party and British-Irish business networks. His programme will conclude with a special event to mark the success of the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) Future Leaders Programme, a special mentoring programme for dynamic entrepreneurs and business professionals living in the UK.

Ahead of his meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary, Minister Flanagan said:

“My colleague Philip Hammond and I have established a regular pattern of constructive engagement over the past 18 months. I welcome this opportunity to discuss the EU debate in the UK and to reiterate Ireland’s clear position that we want the UK to remain a member of a reformed EU.”

He added:

“I fully respect that the question of the UK’s membership is for its electorate to decide. In my series of meetings in London, I will offer Ireland’s unique perspective as a neighbour, as a fellow EU member state, as a €62 billion-a-year trading partner, as a partner in transforming British Irish relations and as a facilitator of successive agreements aimed at securing peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland”.

Minister Flanagan and the Foreign Secretary will also discuss current foreign policy issues including the recent terrorist incidents in Europe, political developments in Latin America, Syria and the ongoing migration issue in Europe.

In his round of engagements and contacts with Irish community groups and business networks, the Minister will acknowledge their outstanding work for the Irish community and for those with a strong affinity with Ireland. He will also encourage debate and engagement in the EU referendum debate.

The Minister said:

“Ireland’s experience with referendums, EU-focused and otherwise, is that voters need and deserve to be informed and involved in the debate, with both the pros and cons of the issue presented to them in a fair and factual matter. Irish citizens resident in the UK are eligible to vote in this referendum and I would encourage Irish groups in the UK to help with efforts to promote debate and participation in this most important decision”.

ENDS
Press Office
5 April 2016