UK and Irish governments to hold Brexit talks in Belfast

Lesley-Anne McKeown, Press Association

THE UK and Irish governments are set to discuss the fallout from the Brexit vote for the first time on Wednesday.

The Republic's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers will talk about the impact of the referendum on cross-border relations when they meet in Belfast.

Meetings will also take place with the First and Deputy First Ministers and there will be separate discussions on the divisive issue with SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who has vowed to block any attempts to drag Northern Ireland out of the European Union against its will, and Alliance leader David Ford MLA - another advocate of the Remain campaign.

In Northern Ireland, 56 per cent of people voted for Remain.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Flanagan said: "It is also my first visit since last Thursday's referendum and I want again to reassure people that the Irish Government in its contacts with EU partners continues to emphasise that the Northern Ireland and all-island dimensions will be an area for priority attention in all post-referendum negotiations processes, including in relation to the status of the border."

The implementation of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements as well as the ongoing work on the legacy of the past and the Irish Government's commitments to north-south infrastructural development will also be on the agenda.

Mr Flanagan added: "My meetings are a welcome opportunity to demonstrate the continuing priority the Government attaches to the ongoing work to support stability, reconciliation and prosperity in Northern Ireland, through the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and subsequent agreements."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access