UK and Irish ministers to meet amidst migration row

Helen McEntee at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland, Friday Feb. 22, 2019.
Helen McEntee at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland, Friday Feb. 22, 2019. Copyright Brian Lawless/AP
Copyright Brian Lawless/AP
By Euronews with AP
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The meeting between the Irish Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and the British Home Secretary James Cleverly was postponed last minute on Sunday evening.


UK and Irish ministers are due to meet in London today, as tensions rise between the two countries over asylum-seekers travelling from Northern Ireland into Ireland. 

Michael Martin, Ireland’s deputy premier and foreign affairs minister, is set to co-chair a regular meeting of the British Irish Inter-Governmental Conference (BIIGC) in London alongside Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Home Secretary James Cleverly were set to meet to discuss the Common Travel Area, however the meeting was postposed late on Sunday evening. 

In a statement, McEntee said she "looks forward" to a meeting being rescheduled soon, however then pulled out of the conference all together to meet officials in Dublin.

McEntee has claimed that there has been an uptick in asylum seekers crossing into Ireland from Northern Ireland in recent months. 

The Irish government has claimed it believe the asylum seekers are entering Ireland to avoid being sent to Rwanda, as part of the British governments new scheme which became law last week. 

Irish premier Simon Harris said on Sunday that Ireland was not prepared to provide a "loophole" for other countries migration issues.

Harris also said that it was "essential" that the British and Irish governments collaborated closely in order to resolve the issue.   

The UK Government has previously said it will not take migrants back from France, another EU country, raising doubts it would do the same for Ireland. 

The BIIGC meeting occurs twice a year and was set up following the Good Friday Agreement.

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