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Visit by US Vice President, Mr Mike Pence on Tuesday, 3 September, 2019

Taoiseach and Mike Pence 03.09.19

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with Vice President of the United States Mike Pence at Farmleigh House today. Vice President Mike Pence signed the visitors book and viewed the Military Records of his grandfather Richard Cawley.

They then sat down for a family lunch and had a bilateral meeting where they discussed the US – Ireland bilateral relationship.

An Taoiseach said:

Ireland and the United States are partners.  In the years to come we will continue to work together:

  • trading, investing and creating employment in each others countries;
  • facilitating our students and tourists to visit; and
  • cooperating on security

They also discussed the Good Friday Agreement.

An Taoiseach added:

We discussed how the United States helped make peace possible on this island, and the vital role it has played protecting the Good Friday Agreement for 20 years and indeed, before that, the role President Reagan played in encouraging Mrs. Thatcher to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

In so many ways, the UK and Ireland are intertwined. The UK’s decision, which we respect, risks being deeply disruptive, especially for the people of Northern Ireland, where most people voted to stay in Europe. Divergence between the UK and the EU means that the return of a hard border on this island is a very real risk. I know that you understand the impact a hard border will have on us on this island.

  • Barriers to the free movement of people and frictionless trade;
  • Barriers to North/South co-operation;
  • The risk that the Good Friday Agreement and peace will be undermined.

That is why we must stand our ground on the Withdrawal Agreement.   An Agreement which was carefully negotiated to overcome all these risks.