HomeNewsGovernment Press Releases

Minister Paul Kehoe in Birmingham to engage on EU referendum with Irish community and local business leaders


Mr Paul Kehoe TD, Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Defence, is visiting Birmingham this Wednesday to engage with business leaders and the Irish community ahead of the EU referendum vote on the 23rd June. Irish Ministers are reaching out to Irish citizens living and working in the UK who are eligible to vote and encouraging them to exercise that right.

Minister Kehoe will attend a British Irish Chamber of Commerce business event and visit the Birmingham Irish Association, a leading Irish community organisation, in Birmingham. Minister Kehoe will highlight Irish interests in the EU referendum:

“As the UK’s closest neighbour, Ireland has a unique perspective and interest in the outcome of the referendum. The Irish Government fully respects that, first and foremost, this is a decision for UK voters to make on 23 June but the Irish Government want the UK, as its closest neighbour and partner, to remain a member of a reformed EU.”

At a British Irish Chamber of Commerce business breakfast, Minister Kehoe will emphasise that the importance and scale of the two way trade between the UK and Ireland, which stands at around €1.2bn per week, is illustrative of the importance of the upcoming referendum to the very close ties between the Irish and UK economies. Minister Kehoe, will note the footprint Irish companies have made in the West Midlands, and will state:

“We are convinced that no alternative arrangement will be better than the one we currently have: a single market and seamless flows of goods, services, capital and people. This trade sustains approximately 200,000 jobs on each side of the Irish Sea including 2,000 in this region of the UK.”

Minister Kehoe will visit the Birmingham Irish Association and meet with members of the Irish community, including those attending its regular Wednesday lunch club. Reflecting on the close links and the great improvements in relation between the two countries in recent year, Minister Kehoe will encourage the community to vote on 23 June.