The Secretary of State James Brokenshire today embarked on a 3-day visit to Washington and New York. The main focus of his visit is to brief US politicians, influencers and business leaders on the political situation in Northern Ireland, the continued need for strong foreign direct investment into the region and to offer reassurance on current issues including the UK’s exit from the European Union.
In a series of intensive meetings the Secretary of State will emphasise that Northern Ireland is open for business as well as highlighting ongoing engagement between the UK Government, the Irish Government and NI’s political parties following the recent pause in talks at Stormont.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
Regrettably my visit takes place against a backdrop of political stalemate in Northern Ireland but this is a timely opportunity to brief members of the US Administration, who throughout history have done so much to support our efforts in moving forward the political process, on the current situation. I also want to reassure them that the UK Government is determined to see devolved, power-sharing government restored.
During a reception at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington on Monday evening, Mr Brokenshire will praise the expertise and capabilities of Northern Ireland firms whose endeavours have contributed to attracting over 900 international investors, many of these from the US, employing over 75,000 people. The Secretary of State will highlight a highly educated, skilled and dedicated workforce, a pedigree in advanced engineering and manufacturing and the great transport links to the rest of the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond.
Mr Brokenshire will hold bilateral meetings with senior political figures, including Conrad Tribble of the US State Department, the Vice President’s National Security Advisor, Andrea Thompson, former Senator George Mitchell and various members of Congress to update them on UK Government’s priorities in Northern Ireland.