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British & Irish Parliamentarians discuss policing issues & possible ‘Brexit’

Added 16-Nov-2015

British & Irish Parliamentarians discuss policing issues & possible ‘Brexit’

16th November 2015

Joint policing and cross-border crime were on the agenda when George Hamilton QPM, Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, PSNI, and Nóirín O’Sullivan, Commissioner of An Garda Síochána addressed the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) this afternoon.

Commissioner O’Sullivan and Chief Constable Hamilton both reiterated their commitment to continuing to work closely to foster a culture of interdependency and cooperation between both police forces. In a joint presentation to the Assembly, the unique challenges presented by cross-border crime were also discussed, as were the terrorist threats that both services remain extremely vigilant of.

Assembly members were informed that trust and the sharing of information will remain crucial to tackling terrorism and cross-border crime. Resourcing and the adequate provision of Gardaí and PSNI Officers on the ground was a recurrent topic of discussion.

In a separate session, Chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Union Affairs, Dominic Hannigan TD, briefed the Assembly on the implications of a possible “Brexit” for Ireland, with an address on his Committee’s report on ‘UK/EU Future Relationship: Implications for Ireland.’

In his presentation, Deputy Hannigan emphasised the importance of Ireland being closely engaged from the outset in all negotiations on the issue of ‘Brexit’, in order to reflect and protect the special relationship that exists between the UK and Ireland. He outlined the report’s recommendation we remain cognisant of the possible cost to the Irish and British states and indeed to North South relations, were the UK to vote to leave the EU.

Deputy Hannigan also highlighted the possible issues that may affect Northern Ireland if ‘BrExit’ was to occur. These included possible issues around freedom of movement; border controls and customs checking.

Andrew Rosindell MP, Chair of Committee B (European Affairs) then moved a motion entitled, ‘That the Assembly has considered the matter of future relations between the UK and Ireland following the UK referendum on its membership of the EU.’

He outlined concerns about the development of the European Union and why, in his view, the ongoing reform negotiations that the Prime Minister is currently engaged in could potentially bring about positive change for Britain and consequently for Ireland.


Follow the BIPA twitter channel for updates: @BritishIrishPA

Media enquiries to:

Dublin: Nuala Walsh: +353 86 410 0898 nuala.walsh@oireachtas.ie                       
London: Jessica Bridges Palmer: +44 7917 488 489 bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk

About the Assembly
The Assembly's mission is to promote co-operation between political representatives in Britain and Ireland for the benefit of the people they represent. BIPA’s membership includes representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

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