At the invitation of his counterpart, the Irish minister of foreign affairs, Charles Flanagan, Luxembourg’s minister of foreign and European affairs, Jean Asselborn, paid a working visit to Ireland on Friday 10 March to talk about the possible consequences of the United Kingdom from the European Union, including the situation in Northern Ireland.
Minister Asselborn particularly welcomed the strong pro-European commitment of the Irish, and stressed the importance of the good relations that Ireland has with its British neighbour.
Stopping in at Dublin Castle for a simulation of a meeting of the EU Council of Trade Ministers presented by more than 200 students, the minister said emphasised the role of trade in establishing frameworks of protection, “European trade policy is not only about strengthening the economy and creating jobs, but it is also based on values, protection of consumer and worker rights, and high environmental and social standards,“ he said.
Minister Asselborn also met with a delegation of Irish businessmen to discuss the consequences of a British withdrawal from the EU on the Irish, British and European economies.
Travelling to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to meet with economic and political actors on the ground, Minister Asselborn reflected on the open border’s importance to communities on both sides.
“The open border with Northern Ireland not only promotes trade but is also the best expression of the peace process begun by the Good Friday agreement of 1998,” he said.