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Minister Coveney meets Secretary of State for Northern Ireland


The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP in Dublin today.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Coveney said:

“I discussed with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the best way forward for the Irish and British Governments to support the formation of a new Executive for Northern Ireland in the period ahead, consistent with our responsibilities as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.

“We reaffirmed both Governments’ determination to see the devolved institutions of the Good Friday Agreement up and running again as soon as possible.”

“The parties who have the enabling electoral mandates need to reach the necessary agreement to form a new Executive. Both Governments will leave no stone unturned in the weeks ahead in supporting the parties to achieve that essential objective.”

In relation to the UK’s exit from the European Union, Minister Coveney added:

“I also discussed with the Secretary of State the Government’s continuing concerns regarding the impact on Northern Ireland of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.”

“We noted that the issues for Northern Ireland can only be addressed through the ongoing EU-UK negotiations.”

“I confirmed that the Government is analysing the published UK position papers on its exit from the Union, including the paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland, and together with the Commission Task Force and the other 26 EU Member States we are committed to working towards an orderly UK withdrawal.”

“I underlined that protecting the peace process and maintaining the gains of the Good Friday Agreement is crucial and that this shared responsibility must be fully upheld in the negotiations between the European Union and the UK.”

“I also noted that the immediate focus for the upcoming rounds of the EU-UK negotiations remains on advancing the issues identified for phase one, including the matters specific to the island of Ireland.”