As Britain withdraws from the European Union, Luton Irish Forum invited community members to attend a discussion with Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain on 13 April.

In conversation with Brian O’Connell, Journalist and Communications Advisor, the Ambassador discussed the possible implications for Ireland and the Irish in Britain of Brexit.

Brian O’Connell, Journalist and Communications Advisor was Media and campaign spokesman in Britain for the British Irish Chamber of Commerce during the EU referendum campaign that the UK should remain within the EU. He was a panellist on Dateline London, a weekly international current affairs discussion programme broadcast on the BBC TV News and World News channels for 17 years and London Editor for RTE for 23 years.

In discussion, the Ambassador covered the key Brexit challenges for Ireland: preserve the advantages to both countries of the Common Travel Area, safeguarding the Northern Ireland Peace Process, ensuring that trade and economic links remain strong, and that the EU remains strong and cohesive.

Ambassador Mulhall reassured the large gathering which included the newly appointed High Sherriff of Bedfordshire and Leader of Luton Borough Council. He stated that that Irish Government has been preparing extensively for the negotiations between the UK and the EU through a comprehensive programme of engagement with European partners and EU institutions to ensure an awareness of Ireland’s unique circumstances and the need to address these in the negotiations.  He added that visits from Irish Ministers to Britain to meet their UK counterparts and Irish community organisations continue to take place on a regular basis and the Irish Government remains committed to ensuring that the interests of the community are heard.

Tom Scanlon, Chairman of Luton Irish Forum said, ‘Although this is a very complex issue and many aspects are unclear now, this was a fantastic opportunity to gain a better understanding of the implications of this historic decision for Irish people here in Britain and for our homeland which will form the only land divide between UK and Europe.’

As Ambassador Mulhall will take up the post of Irish Ambassador to the United States this August, there were heartfelt presentations made on behalf of Luton Irish Forum and our friends Irish Network Stevenage. Lord McKenzie joined the well-wishers sending his thanks for a job well done and commenting that the Ambassador ‘embodies the culture of Ireland.’

For further information on the services and events of Luton Irish Forum, please visit our website at

www.lutonirishforum.org, Email: info@lutonirishforum.org or Tel: 01582 720 447

 

Brexit and the Irish community Review