Speaking after today’s North South meeting of Ministers on trade and business chaired by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, and attended by Executive Finance Minister, Conor Murphy and Economy Minister Diane Dodds, Mr Murphy said;
“I welcome the fact that today’s meeting has taken place and that the Executive was appropriately represented by both myself and Diane Dodds
“We discussed important matters of mutual interest on all-island trade and business development.
“Since the Executive was restored there have now been two plenary meetings of the Executive and Irish Government, involving all ministers across the island.
“There have also been over a dozen of these sectoral meetings held on a North-South basis involving ministers from the Executive and Irish Government across key areas of trade, health, education, tourism and the environment.
“The previous two sectoral meetings regrettably did not occur since no DUP Minister made themselves available to take part, so the fact that Diane Dodds did participate in today’s meeting is welcome.
“North-South co-operation between the Irish Government and the Executive is a central part of the Good Friday Agreement, so any departure from these structures would not be acceptable to Sinn Féin.
“Given the challenges of both Brexit and COVID it is paramount that there is consultation, co-operation and joint action between the two governments, the Executive and all ministers in how we can best meet these challenges now and in the future.”