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Sean Kelly to lead EU trade mission to Belfast


Sean Kelly MEP

Sean Kelly MEP

Sean Kelly MEP


Kerry based Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly, the First Vice-Chair of EU-UK Parliamentary Assembly, has confirmed that he will lead the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee on a two day fact-finding mission to Belfast in October.

The visit by MEPs will include a range of meetings with MLAs, business representatives and civil society.

Announcing the mission, the Ireland South MEP said that “we need to dial down the political rhetoric and listen to the perspectives of those living and working in Northern Ireland. It is essential that we understand the issues of most concern to people and businesses”.

Mr Kelly said the change of leadership in the UK government offers a window of opportunity to reset the EU-UK relationship.

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“Now is the time to place relations back on more stable footing and resolve the ongoing dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol. I urge the new Prime Minister to come back to the negotiating table with a new, more constructive approach. Of course, we have said this before, so all eyes will be on the approach Prime Minister Truss decides to take”, MEP Kelly said.

Mr Kelly underlined that the past few months have seen relations go from bad to worse between Brussels and London.

“The disruption and uncertainty caused by tensions over the Protocol is harming business and trade between the EU and UK, and on the island of Ireland in particular.”

However, he said solutions do exist to address the difficulties raised by the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“What we need is genuine and constructive engagement from the UK. If the political will is shown from the UK government, the EU will be ready to find solutions.”

Given that both the EU and UK face common challenges, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and soaring energy prices, Mr Kelly said now is the time for cooperation based on shared interests.

“We should be working together, not pulling apart”, Kelly stated,” said the Kilcummin based MEP.