Ireland

Leaders meet at 39th British-Irish Council summit in Jersey

(left to right) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Chief Minister of Jersey Kristina Moore, Michael Gove and First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf at the British-Irish Council summit meeting at the L’Horizon Hotel in St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey (PA)
(left to right) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Chief Minister of Jersey Kristina Moore, Michael Gove and First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf at the British-Irish Council summit meeting at the L’Horizon Hotel in St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey (PA) (left to right) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Chief Minister of Jersey Kristina Moore, Michael Gove and First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf at the British-Irish Council summit meeting at the L’Horizon Hotel in St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey (PA)

Senior politicians have reflected on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement at the British-Irish Council summit in Jersey.

The 39th summit brought together leaders from the UK Government, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Island nations of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man.

No representatives from Northern Ireland were present due to the collapse of the power-sharing institutions at Stormont.

Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove represented the Westminster Government in the absence of the Prime Minister.

British Irish Council summit
British Irish Council summit Chief Minister of Guernsey Peter Ferbrache, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Chief Minister of Jersey Kristina Moore, UK Cabinet minister Michael Gove, First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf and Chief Minister of the Isle of Man Alfred Cannon at the British-Irish Council summit meeting at the L’Horizon Hotel in St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey. (Andy Matthews/PA)

Mr Gove spoke of the “regret” that no representatives from Northern Ireland could attend the summit.

“I think everyone has expressed their regret both formally when the council are deliberating, but also conversations, that our friends in Northern Ireland, the elected representatives, haven’t been here.”

He added efforts by the Westminster Government were ongoing to try to “persuade all parties” in Northern Ireland about the need for movement to restore Stormont.

The summit included a visit to the Limes, an example of housing construction in Jersey as the members focused on decarbonisation and sustainable building.

Kristina Moore, chief minister of the Jersey administration, told the press conference: “It has been a great honour for us to host the summit for the fifth time here in Jersey.

“And of course, it’s a really important opportunity for us all to reflect on 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement.”

She said “shared challenges” were discussed between the representatives.

Mr Gove added: “I know there is a commitment on the whole Jersey Government to making sure that both the affordability challenges that the island faces can be properly addressed but also that it’s done so in a way which is environmentally sustainable.

“It was a common thread in all of the contributions that we made that we all appreciate the pressure on supply and affordability in all of our jurisdictions.”

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf attended his first British-Irish Council summit since taking up his post, where he met Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.