Varadkar travels to London for bilateral meeting with Secretary of State


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Visit includes round table with Irish groups in London to discuss social insurance, welfare & pensions

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar is holding a bilateral meeting in London tomorrow (Thursday) with his counterpart, the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, the Right Hon. Damien Green MP. It follows on from a meeting with Employment Minister Damien Hinds in Brussels before Christmas. 

The Minister will also hold a round table meeting with representatives from eight Irish support groups based in and around London to discuss social protection issues and hear their views and concerns about Brexit.

“Social protection is one of the major issues for discussion as part of the Brexit process and this meeting is part of our ongoing engagement. Our long-term objective is to preserve what is effectively the common citizenship that exists between Britain and Ireland including the right to live, work, access welfare, pensions, and social insurance in each other's countries as though we were citizens of both.

“We often talk about the impact of Brexit on business, but I think it’s important that we also talk about the impact on people. There are 681,000 Irish-born residents living in the UK, of whom 14,000 claim some form of benefit or welfare. Similarly there are upwards of 112,000 UK citizens in Ireland of who up to 40,000 receive benefits, pensions or welfare from my Department. There are 135,040 UK State Pension claimants resident in the Republic, while 34,394 UK residents claim an Irish pension. Around 8,000 residents from Ireland commute across the border with Northern Ireland to work or study and 6,500 residents from Northern Ireland commute daily into the Republic.

“That’s also why I am meeting with representatives from eight Irish community groups and organisations to discuss what Brexit means to them, their concerns and their hopes, and also their ongoing benefits and entitlements.”

The Minister’s final meeting is a Briefing by the Institute of Fiscal Studies on UK social welfare issues.

The community groups taking part in the round table include: 

  • Irish in Britain
  • London Irish Centre
  • Irish Elderly Advice Network
  • Haringey Irish Cultural and Community Centre
  • Irish Community Services
  • Southwark Irish Pensioners Project
  • Traveller Movement
  • Luton Irish Forum

Ends

Last modified:01/02/2017