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Taoiseach attending British Irish Council

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is attending his first British Irish Council Summit today on the Channel Island of Jersey.

The Summit will focus on key political developments for the eight Administrations of the British Irish Council, including the current political situation in Northern Ireland, and the ongoing situation with regard to Brexit.

These discussions will focus on the Common Travel Area, border and customs arrangements, and the transition to a post-Brexit environment for all eight Member Administrations.

An Taoiseach is likely to stress the Irish Government’s wish that the Northern Ireland Executive be restored as soon as possible, and express his regret that Northern Ireland cannot be represented at political level at the Council until this happens.

The discussions will also look ahead to the next European Council meeting in December which will determine whether the Brexit discussions can progress to the next phase.

The Summit is being hosted by Jersey’s Chief Minister Ian Gorst. Minister Joe McHugh represented the Irish Government at a thematic discussion on the Creative Industries on Thursday evening.

The British-Irish Council, established under the 1998 Multi-Party Agreement, continues to play a valuable role in developing and furthering links between its eight Member Administrations.

It provides a dynamic forum for exchanging information, collaborating on policies of mutual interest, and fostering positive, practical relationships across these islands.

A Communiqué will issue from the Council at the conclusion of the Summit.