Governments must engage now on stalled #Haas talks

brendan-smithFianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Border Region Development, Brendan Smith TD, has called for strong engagement by the Irish and British Governments in progressing the stalled Haas talks in Northern Ireland.

Deputy Smith today met with Ivan Lewis MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland. “Today’s meeting was a very constructive. Ivan Lewis and I fully agreed that both governments needed to take the lead in driving on the Haas proposals and revitalising the peace process,” said Deputy Smith.

“After the elections and before the marching season begins, it’s important that all parties sit down and commit themselves to bringing the Haas talks to a successful conclusion. Both the Irish and British governments have to play a key role in this. Ivan Lewis MP was fully supportive of the obligations on both governments, and he is committed to continuing to raise this in Westminster.”

Deputy Smith also raised the importance of British engagement with Dublin/Monaghan Bombings. 

“I specifically asked that Ivan Lewis in his capacity as Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland to press the British Government on the need to release files about the dreadful attacks. Following the recent 40thanniversary it’s particularly important for the relatives and friends of those who died on the bloodiest day of the troubles to know what happened and who was involved. I will continue to work hard in pursing this very important matter.

“I also used today’s meeting as an opportunity to discuss the impact of the European election results in the UK and the rise of UKIP. I emphasised to Ivan Lewis Ireland’s continued support for the UK’s membership of the EU and the importance of this to our very strong trade links. Mr. Lewis agreed that we are stronger together in the EU and that British-Irish relations would continue to benefit from this,” said Deputy Smith.