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Irish Foreign Minister pledges to ‘deepen relationship’ with Wales

21 Jan 2021 2 minutes Read
Simon Carbery Coveney, Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland. Photo: Arno Mikkor (EU2017EE)

Irish Government is “deepening” its relationship with Wales, according to its Foreign Minister

In a statement on Brexit, Simon Coveney said the Republic was developing a “distinct” programme of cooperation with Wales because of the connections that had been developed through shared EU membership have been lost.

Mr Coveney told the Dáil that the decision of the UK to leave the European Union was “regrettable”, that it has “posed unprecedented political, economic and diplomatic challenges for Ireland” and that it was not possible to “mitigate very risk.”

But he said that the trade agreement “represents a fair and reasonable compromise between the EU and the UK.

He said: “We are looking at new approaches. As we lose the regular engagements and connections built through our shared EU membership, we are deepening our relationship with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales with distinct programmes of co-operation with each.”

‘Challenges’ 

He added: “The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union posed unprecedented political, economic and diplomatic challenges for Ireland.

“Countering the risks to peace and prosperity necessitated not only a whole-of-Government but a whole-of-society approach.

“These collective efforts helped to secure positive outcomes that were far from guaranteed at the outset.

“They include protecting the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, avoiding a hard border on this island, maintaining the common travel area and securing Ireland’s future in a strong European Union.

“The decision of the UK to leave the customs union and Single Market brings inevitable and unwelcome consequences for Ireland.

“It is simply not possible to mitigate every risk. We can only work together to minimise the impacts.

“The decision of the UK Government is regrettable. However, Ireland’s continued direct and open access to the Single Market of 450 million Europeans, along with our continued role in shaping its future, will be essential to our continued economic and societal well-being.”

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