Minister Flanagan on Prime Minister May’s call for a UK General Election18/4/17
Speaking after a phone call with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire MP, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said:
“Prime Minister May has called for a General Election in the UK on 8 June and the main parties at Westminster have indicated that they will not oppose such a vote in the House of Commons tomorrow.
"This announcement does not change the Government’s commitment to ensuring the best possible outcome for Ireland in the upcoming Brexit negotiations where we will negotiate from a position of strength as one of the EU 27.
"I am of course concerned about the impact of a UK General Election on the ongoing talks’ process in Northern Ireland and I conveyed these when I spoke with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland earlier today.
"The Secretary of State told me that his intention, announced last week, remains unchanged – namely, to bring forward legislation at Westminster in the coming days which will include a provision to allow a Northern Ireland Executive to be formed in early May.
"While this will legislatively facilitate the formation of an Executive, I am conscious of the political reality that all of the parties involved in the talks will now be competing in a General Election and mind-sets will inevitably shift to campaign mode.
"Nevertheless, it is the firm hope of the Irish Government that the talks’ process can continue and conclude successfully in the coming days. The interests of the people of Northern Ireland are best served by having a devolved Executive and Assembly. This is the case regardless of the electoral cycle at Westminster.
"That will be my message in my contacts with the party leaders in Northern Ireland in the coming days and when I travel to Belfast for further discussions on Thursday.”
18 April 2017