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Foreign Affairs | New Secretary of State for Northern Ireland engagement

To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he has had interaction with the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with a view to improving relations between London, Dublin and Belfast; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I spoke to the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heatton Harris, on 7 September immediately following his appointment. We had a constructive phone call where we discussed a number of matters, including our shared priority of addressing the ongoing absence of the power-sharing Executive and Assembly in Northern Ireland.  I underlined the importance of the partnership approach between our two governments and our responsibilities as co-Guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.  We also discussed plans for future engagement such as the forthcoming BIIGC and our intention to meet together in person in the weeks ahead. I look forward to working closely with the Secretary of State and his team.
I will remain in close contact with the Secretary of State and indeed with the Northern Ireland political parties in the period ahead. Strong relationships and honest conversations East-West and North-South must and should remain at the heart of this Government’s approach. I firmly believe that by working together in a spirit of cooperation we can jointly find solutions to the range of issues facing Northern Ireland.

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