Conor joined Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, in speaking at an event at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Irish Studies alongside Ireland’s Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan TD.
“The UK and Ireland have a particularly close relationship within the European Union, and our joint membership has brought mutual benefits to both countries.
“Ireland is our nearest neighbour and close partner. We share unrivalled business and tourism links, with trade between the UK and Ireland estimated at тТ1bn a week, and Dublin-London is the world’s second busiest international air route.
“The peace process in Northern Ireland has brought about a transformation and it was nurtured between our two governments within the EU. North-South co-operation on the island of Ireland has brought dramatic improvements to people on both sides of the border. We want to enhance and improve those links, not put them in jeopardy. We would put at risk all the progress that has been made if the UK were to leave the EU.
“The decision in this referendum about UK’s future is one that will be made by people in the UK. But we should listen carefully to the views of our allies and closest international partners, from the USA to Ireland, who want Britain to stay in the EU.”
Conor, who is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain, said:
“Hundreds of thousands of Irish people in Britain are entitled to vote in the forthcoming referendum and will have a say in the most important decision this country has taken in a generation.
“Irish people have made an enormous contribution to all aspects of society here. Many of us have made Britain our home, while still retaining our ties to Ireland. We share a special pride in the close relationship between the UK and Ireland and have played a key role in developing those strong links over the last number of decades.
“The Irish in Britain are a vibrant, outward-looking and civic-minded community. We represent the best of both of our countries. Britain is safer, stronger and better off within the EU, and the Irish in Britain are too.”