Minister Donohoe in Edinburgh and Newcastle to highlight Irish links and engage on the EU referendum

8th June, 2016

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., is visiting Edinburgh today (Wednesday) and will travel on to Newcastle tomorrow (Thursday) to engage with business leaders and the Irish community ahead of the EU referendum vote on the 23 June. Irish Ministers are reaching out to Irish citizens living and working in the UK who are eligible to vote and encouraging them to exercise that right.

Starting in Edinburgh, Minister Donohoe will tonight launch the Irish Business Network Scotland at an event with Irish and Scottish business leaders.  It is to take place at Edinburgh Castle and is sponsored by AIB, while Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP will also attend.

As part of his remarks, Minister Donohoe will emphasise the importance and scale of the two way trade between the UK and Ireland, which stands at around €1.2bn per week and includes very positive trading relations with Scotland:

“Scotland is a very important economic partner for Ireland, and the level of business exchange between our two countries is robust and growing.   A large number of Irish companies, are heavily engaged in generating business and jobs in Scotland, while many hundreds of indigenous Irish enterprises are exporting goods and services here, sustaining jobs back home”.

The Minister will also say:

“The great strength of the trading relationship between Ireland and the UK as a whole explains our strong desire that nothing happens to damage it. One of the things we see as risk in this context would be a decision by the UK electorate on 23 June to withdraw from the European Union and change the nature of our economic relationship.”

Minister Donohoe will travel on to Newcastle tomorrow, where he will meet with local business network, Líonra and note the footprint Irish companies have made in the North East and once again highlight the importance of our close business links.

He will then attend an engagement with the wider Irish community at Tyneside Irish Centre, where he will share the platform with local MPs Pat Glass (Labour Shadow Minister for Europe) and Chi Onwurah (Labour Shadow Minister for Culture & the Digital Economy).

Minister Donohoe will tell the audience:

“Our joint membership of the EU created an environment for Britain and Ireland to work together side by side as equal partners.  It allowed good working relationships to develop.  This ease of cooperation has also been a hugely important factor in the development of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland”.

Reflecting on the close links and the great improvements in relations between our two islands in recent years, Minister Donohoe will encourage the communities in both Edinburgh and Newcastle to vote on 23 June.