15 March, 2017 - Minister Bruton Departs for a Series of Brexit Related Meetings in London

Threats to Our Economic Progress Remain, Minister Bruton to Tell British and Irish Business People

Minister to discuss Brexit with Education Secretary Justine Greening and Minister of State for Exiting the EU David Jones as part of St Patrick’s Day Promote Ireland Programme

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, will today (Wednesday) depart on a five day visit to London as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day Programme. The visit will include a number of Brexit related meetings, including with the Secretary of State for Education, as well as a speech to Irish enterprise and meetings with the Irish community.

While in London the Minister will meet with the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening. The Minister will discuss a number of issues with the Education Secretary, including the impact Brexit will have on research collaboration; student access to higher education, and student fees. He will also meet with Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, David Jones. Minister Bruton will travel to Westminster to meet the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain.

The Minister will also engage with Irish and British business people where he will warn that there are now threats to our economic progress which must be carefully managed.

Minister Bruton will also take part in a number of events, including:

  • Meeting with senior University representatives to discuss priorities for partnerships in education between Ireland and Britain
  • Roundtable discussion to discuss the way forward after Brexit, including Pascal Lamy, former DG of the WTO
  • The “Greening” of the London Underground and the Camden Street Market
  • Meet a number of homeless and vulnerably-housed people supported by The Passage, a homelessness organisation which receives Emigrant Support Programme funding
  • Visit Culture Camp – a schools outreach programme organised with the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith
  • Lead the St Patrick’s Day London parade along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Grand Marshall Dara Ó Briain

Speaking today, Minister Bruton said:

“I am delighted to be travelling to London to represent the government as part of our St Patrick’s Day Promote Ireland Programme.

“I look forward to discussing a number of issues with Secretary Greening-including research collaboration, student access to higher education, and student fees- and Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, David Jones.

“While recent economic data can give us confidence in the future, we cannot take success for granted. Twice in my lifetime I’ve seen bad politics destroy a strong and recovering economy. The hard won recovery in jobs face threats as profound changes emerge in Europe and the United States of America. We are at a critical turning point in the history of our country. Huge challenges are coming towards us. We must master these challenges by adapting our economic model to new realities, while helping people to better manage the pressures in their own lives more effectively. Within Europe, we will have to shape the future of a European union that will not include the UK, which we will now be members of.

“Too many people in this Dáil take economic recovery for granted and push policies that would repeat the mistakes of the past.

“I am looking forward to meeting with many members of the Irish community who have made a big contribution to the social and economic life of the UK over many years. I also look forward to taking part in a number of cultural events, and lead the St Patrick’s Day Parade, along with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Dara Ó Briain.”