Ministers hold key Brexit talks in Dublin

Martin McGuinness( Picture by FreddieParkinson/Press Eye �)
Martin McGuinness( Picture by FreddieParkinson/Press Eye �)

Ministers North and South of the border have gathered in Dublin to discuss the impact of the UK leaving the European Union.

The North-South Ministerial Council came together at Dublin Castle on Monday, while parliamentarians from Ireland and Britain were also hosting meetings.

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martin McGuinness has said a proposed National Forum to discuss the impact of the EU referendum should have island-wide participation.

Speaking ahead of the meetings with An Taioseach Enda Kenny, Mr McGuinness said: “The people of the North clearly voted to remain in the European Union and that democratic vote must be respected.

“I will be making it clear to the Taoiseach that this is not a done deal and that Sinn Féin will continue to assert the rights of the people of the North of Ireland.”

Donegal Minister Joe McHugh TD meanwhile urged parliamentarians to continue co-operation in the challenging times that now lie ahead as he opened the two-day gathering of British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) at the Grand Hotel at Malahide on Monday.

Representatives from the Houses of the Oireachtas, the NI Assembly, UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey were all due to attend.

On Monday, the importance of the Remain result for the North was highlighted, with members expressing concerns about the future of the border region. During a wide-ranging discussion, BIPA members stressed the need to be proactive in ensuring there is no adverse economic and trade consequences as a result of Brexit. A suggestion that Ireland rejoin the Commonwealth was discussed while Scottish members raised the issue of a second independence referendum.