Corbyn calling for official Irish Government role in Stormont talks

He will also warn that the Labour party cannot support a return to a hard border post Brexit

Corbyn calling for official Irish Government role in Stormont talks

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in Glasgow, 11-05-2018. Image: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

The leader of the British Labour Party is delivering a speech in Belfast today calling for the British-Irish intergovernmental conference to be reconvened to help restore power-sharing at Stormont.

Jeremy Corbyn is making his first visit to Northern Ireland since taking over the leadership of the party in September 2015.

He is using a speech in Queens University Belfast to call for a more pro-active approach to ending the Stormont deadlock.

The British-Irish intergovernmental conference was set up under the Good Friday Agreement - however it has not met in over a decade.

Mr Corbyn’s call for it to be reconvened risks angering unionists, as it would give Dublin a formal role in ending the deadlock.

He will also warn that Labour cannot accept any Brexit deal that includes border infrastructure in Ireland.

The visit comes as Mr Corbyn’s spokesperson said that he believes there is majority support for Irish re-unification across the island.

The spokesperson noted that Mr Corbyn has made his position on Irish unification “clear over the years” but warned that any change would be a “matter for the people” that could only come about through the constitutional process set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

Belgian visit

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel arrives at the informal meeting of the 27 European Heads of States and Governments in Brussels, 23-02-2018. Image: Ye Pingfan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Meanwhile, the Belgian Prime Minister is visiting County Louth today, to see for himself the impact that a hard border might have.

He will visit the old Ravensdale border crossing at the Louth/Down border, accompanied by the Minister for Business Heather Humphreys.

This evening, he will be in Dublin for Brexit talks with the Taoiseach – with the two leaders also set to discuss the future of Europe and international issues.

Red tape

This morning the Central Bank published a new study warning that Anglo-Irish trade could drop by nearly 10% post Brexit because of increased ‘red tape.’

The study said delays due to documentation and customs procedures would have a 'negative and significant' impact on trade.

The study doesn't take account of how any new tariffs might affect trade.

Irish exports worst affected would include fresh foods, machinery and transport equipment.

The research doesn't consider the potential for some of the trade decline to be redirected to other countries.