The Tánaiste visits London for series of high-level meetings30/1/18
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., is visiting London today and tomorrow. He will hold a series of high-level political meetings with members of the UK Cabinet including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis, Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington, Minister of State Alan Duncan, and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Smith. During the visit, the Tánaiste will also address an event at Chatham House entitled “British Irish Relations – Past Present and Future”
Speaking about the visit, the Tánaiste said:
“Ireland is a committed member of the EU, and we regret the decision of the UK to leave; however, we have always been clear that we seek a strong and positive relationship with our closest neighbours, now and into the future. It is important that we maintain close contact throughout the Brexit negotiations and beyond, to ensure that this relationship is maintained and strengthened.
"I am delighted to visit London to discuss these issues, especially as we approach the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, arguably the greatest example of cooperation between our two countries.
“This is also an opportunity to discuss Phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations, where we will have to work together to ensure that we deliver on the overarching commitments of protecting the Agreement and the gains of the peace process, and of avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.”
During the visit, the Tánaiste will also attend a business lunch with representatives of prominent business, financial and industry organisations.
Speaking about the lunch, the Tánaiste said that he would use the opportunity to: “highlight the scale and potential of UK-Irish trade, the potential economic and political impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland, and our desire for the closest possible relationship between the UK and EU post-Brexit.“