Trump SNUB: Irish deputy BOYCOTTS Trump visit - ‘Real work to do!’

Trump SNUB: Irish deputy BOYCOTTS Trump visit - ‘Real work to do!’

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who is also the country’s Foreign Secretary, spent the afternoon taking part in discussions with the five main political parties in Northern Ireland, along with Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley. He told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland that President Michael D Higgins summed up “the mood of the Irish people quite well” in regards to his comments about Mr Trump’s views on climate change being “regressive and pernicious”. Mr Coveney did not want to participate in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s talks with the US President, as they involved the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

Follow our latest updates on Donald Trump's state visit here 

He said ahead of the meeting: “It’s no secret that we don’t agree with President Trump’s views on Brexit.

“The focus of the talk will be the impact of Brexit on Ireland. Successive US administrations have been supportive of the peace process.

“We will insist on protecting the peace process, we expect the US to support that.”

Mr Trump held a meeting at Shannon Airport with Mr Varadkar to reassure the country that Britain’s exit from the European Union would work out fine for its near neighbour.

Mr Varadkar used the meeting to highlight Ireland’s concerns over how to keep Ireland’s 500-km (350-mile) border with Northern Ireland open after Brexit.

This is to ensure it does not ruin two decades of relative peace in Ireland after the bloodshed of the Troubles.

Before the meeting, Mr Trump said he expected he would ask him about Brexit and it would all work out “very well”.

Mr Trump told reporters: ”The way [the border] works now is good, you want to try and keep it that way and I know that’s a big point of contention with respect to Brexit.

“I’m sure it’s going to work out well.”

Mr Trump understood Brexit cannot result in the return of a hard border on the island, according to the Irish Prime Minister.

He told reporters after the talks: “He said in the meeting that he was aware that the sticking point in the negotiations, one of the most difficult points, is the issue of the Irish border - and he wants to keep that [the border] open and believes that can be done.

“He understands that has to be a shared objective, that, if the UK is going to leave with a deal, that that deal must involve legally operable guarantees that we won’t see the emergence of a hard border between north and south.”

Mr Trump’s meeting is part of a trip that will also include a visit at one of the president’s golf resorts.

Despite anti-Trump protests taking place, there was also a warm welcome in the tiny western village of Doonbeg.

This is due to the hotel he bought five years ago supporting local employment.

Mr Trump has spent the last three days in the UK for a state visit and today he helped mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

He will travel to France on Thursday for a D-Day commemoration there, before taking in a round of golf and returning to Washington on Friday.

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