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Sinn Féin MP claims British immigration minister refused to meet him during visit to South Down

British immigration minister Caroline Nokes visited Kilkeel in Co Down
Guest Newsdesk

A Sinn Féin MP has claimed a British minister refused to meet him during a visit to his constituency.

Chris Hazzard, who represents South Down, said immigration minister Caroline Nokes was in Kilkeel on Thursday to talk about Brexit with a group of fishermen.

Mr Hazzard told the BBC he found out about the visit on Wednesday night, but the minister's department initially refused to give him any details.

The Home Office said Mrs Nokes was on a "private visit".

Mr Hazzard claimed she had "refused to meet with me or hear the deep concerns in this constituency about the disastrous effects that Brexit will have on the area".

"This was another box-ticking exercise by a British government with no plan, no strategy and which couldn't care less about the impact of Brexit on South Down," he said.

The visit came four months after former Brexit Secretary David Davis apologised for not telling local representatives about an unannounced visit to the border in Co Armagh.

Mrs Nokes was criticised by MPs earlier this year when she told a Westminster committee she had never read the whole of the Good Friday Agreement.

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