Minister Flanagan meets Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan TD met the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP in Dublin today.
Their meeting took place in the context of the Northern Ireland Assembly election, which will take place on 2 March.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“Today I discussed the current political situation in Northern Ireland with the Secretary of State.
I underlined that it is of the utmost importance that the conditions are in place for a power sharing Executive to be established as soon as possible following the Assembly election.
“As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, both Governments have a role to play in supporting the effective operation of the devolved institutions, and in upholding both the letter and the spirit of the Agreement as whole, in the interests of all in Northern Ireland.”
In relation to legacy issues, Minister Flanagan said:
“I discussed with the Secretary of State the imperative of dealing with the range of issues related to the legacy of the Troubles, in a way that meets the needs and expectations of victims and survivors, and of wider society. It is these needs that should be the focus of our work and which can best be met through the comprehensive legacy framework provided for under the Stormont House Agreement. I reiterated by determination that this be established at the earliest opportunity.”
In relation to the UK’s exit from the European Union, Minister Flanagan added:
“I reminded the Secretary of State of the particular impact on Northern Ireland of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. While Prime Minister May’s commitment to work to retain an invisible border on the island is welcome, I emphasised that, if this is to be achieved, significant flexibility will need to be shown by British Government once the EU-UK negotiations begin.”