James Brokenshire to hold talks in Dublin tomorrow with Simon Coveney

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James Brokenshire to hold talks in Dublin tomorrow with Simon Coveney

Sinn Féin's leader in Northern Ireland has written to the United Kingdom and Irish governments proposing a formal resumption of power-sharing talks.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire is expected to travel to Dublin tomorrow for talks with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Both men said that the Northern parties needed to engage with each other to see the institutions re-established.

Mr Coveney intends to visit Belfast next week to meet with politicians.

"Northern Ireland needs a voice through a government of its own".

"While we're not at that critical point yet, that is coming into sight quite rapidly as we head into the autumn and therefore why I do want us to get back into those discussions as quickly as possible, but with that positive intent and positive outcome", Mr Brokenshire continued. We want to harness those freedoms.

"We are leaving the EU, customs union and single market. Ultimately, it is for Northern Ireland's political parties to find a way to make this work", Mr Brokenshire said in a statement.

Mr Coveney also said that sufficient progress on the future of the Irish border has not been made during Brexit talks.

However, following a meeting with the Irish and British Chamber of Commerce he said there would be a period of implementation where the United Kingdom would adhere closely to the existing customs union.

Speaking after meeting with Mr Brokenshire, Simon Coveney said it remains the opinion of the Irish Government that Britain's interests would be best served remaining within the Customs Union.

Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste welcomed the emerging clarity resulting from the UK's recent proposals but noted that further constructive engagement would be required.

The Irish government has warned United Kingdom authorities it will not be used as a "pawn" in Brexit negotiations. "Of course, while these papers are directed at both the United Kingdom business and citizen, the proposals they contain will need careful consideration by the European Union 27 and the Commission in developing any response in due course". "At this time of the Brexit negotiations, at this time where issues continue to be highlighted around public services in Northern Ireland, I think it just underlines the need for an Executive to be put in place", he said.

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