British-Irish Council meets to hammer out common ground on Brexit fallout
FIRST MINISTER, Nicola Sturgeon will attend an emergency meeting of theBritish-Irish Council (BIC) hosted by her Welsh counterpart, Carwyn Jones AM, in Cardiff today.
The meeting will be attended by leaders and ministers from the UK and Irish governments, the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the governments of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
The summit has been convened to consider the outcome of the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union and the implications of Brexit for BIC and its members.
It will be the first time the first minister has had the opportunity to speak face-to-face to all the UK’s other administrations, Crown dependencies and the Irish Government since the referendum vote.
Additionally, the external affairs and culture secretary, Fiona Hyslop, will also be attending the summit in Cardiff.
"This British-Irish Council meeting is the first opportunity we have had as a forum to properly discuss the referendum result and what it means for each of our administrations." Nicola Sturgeon
Speaking ahead of the summit, in a press release, the first minister said: "Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain within the European Union and that democratic choice by the Scottish people – so important to our economy, society and culture – will guide us as we seek to maintain our relationship with the EU.
"As I have consistently said, we will explore all options to ensure that relationship is protected, and the new prime minister gave me an undertaking when we met in Edinburgh last Friday that she is willing to consider the options we put forward.
"This British-Irish Council meeting is the first opportunity we have had as a forum to properly discuss the referendum result and what it means for each of our administrations.
"As such, this is one of the most important ever meetings of the British-Irish Council. I will fully discuss with colleagues the implications of the referendum result, the range of options available to us and how we can shape the negotiation process so it is reflective of everyone’s circumstances."
The summit has been convened to consider the outcome of the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union and the implications of Brexit for the council and its members.
The council, set up in 1998, is a forum for members to exchange information and reach agreement on matters of mutual interest. It is uniquely the only international forum in which these eight members, who are parts of the geographical British Isles, participate equally.
All members act in accordance with their own democratic procedures and remain accountable to their respective elected institutions. It normally meets annually, last convening in Glasgow in June.
Picture courtesy of Cabinet Office
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