As the Deputy will be aware, whilst the Department of Justice and Equality have no role in east-west trade, I meet regularly with my counterparts in the UK Government as part of the ongoing engagement my Department has with the UK to support cooperation on justice-related issues. The exit of the UK from the EU provides the context for this ongoing engagement, but the issues discussed are broader subjects of shared interest.
Since I became Minister in June 2017 I have had nine meetings with UK Ministers, as well as other interactions including telephone calls and letters.
By way of example, in the last six months, in the margins of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) meeting in Dublin on 2 November 2018, I held a brief bilateral with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP, where I took the opportunity to express the Government’s position on ongoing Brexit issues.
I met with UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke MP in the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 11 and 12 October 2018.
At the BIIGC meeting in London on 25 July 2018, I, along with the Tánaiste, met with Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley MP. We discussed overall progress towards implementation of the Stormont House Agreement legacy framework, the security situation and stressed the need for bilateral co-operation to be maintained and, where possible, strengthened following the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
On 25 July 2018 I had a bilateral meeting with the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP, in London, where we discussed the evolving threats from organised crime and international terrorism and noted challenges arising from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. We also further asserted the commitment of both Governments to maintaining the Common Travel Area.
In the margins of JHA Councils I met with Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke MP on 26 January 2018, Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP on 7 December 2017 and Minister of State for Immigration Brandon Lewis MP on 14 September 2017.
I can also inform the Deputy that I met with UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP, Justice Secretary David Lidington MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire MP, in London on 11 October 2017 where we discussed the close co-operation between Ireland and the UK on justice, immigration and security issues.
These meetings form part of the regular engagement my Department has with our counterparts in the UK to support ongoing cooperation on these important issues.