102. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or officials in his Department met the British Minister for the Cabinet Office, Mr. David Lidington, when he visited Dublin. (Question 19620/18 asked on 08 May 2018)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I met with UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, during his visit to Dublin in April. As the Minister for the Cabinet Office often deputises for the Prime Minister, it is appropriate for me to routinely meet Minister Lidington to discuss issues of importance to both Governments.

Although the Minister for the Cabinet Office does not have lead responsibility for Brexit, his visit to Dublin, and subsequently to the border region, was welcome and timely, given the importance of the Irish specific issues to the ongoing negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the strong British-Irish bilateral relationship, and how this relationship can be strengthened in the future, including in the context of supporting the restoration of the Executive in Northern Ireland.

Ireland and the UK share many areas of mutual interest and concern and we will continue to work together on areas of commonality.