Scotland politics

Nicola Sturgeon to address Irish Senate during Dublin trip

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright PA

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to address the upper house of the Irish Parliament during a visit to Dublin.

The SNP leader will travel to Ireland later in November for talks with politicians and business leaders.

Ms Sturgeon has been invited to address the Seanad, and will become the first serving head of government to do so.

She said there was a "long tradition of co-operation" between Scotland and Ireland, adding that this was "even more important" since the Brexit vote.

The Herald newspaper had quoted the Irish government's international development minister as saying there would not be direct talks with Ms Sturgeon's government over Brexit.

However, the first minister will meet President Michael Higgins and Charlie Flanagan, the minister for foreign affairs, during her visit to Dublin.

Image caption Ms Sturgeon will address the Seanad, the Irish upper house, during her visit

A spokeswoman said she would also meet about 100 of Ireland's "top business representatives".

Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland and Ireland have a shared history and a long tradition of co-operation on a range of issues.

"In the post-Brexit landscape, it has become even more important that we work together to protect our shared interests.

"Last year we established an innovation and investment hub in Dublin to strengthen our relationship with Ireland and promote inward investment.

"I am proud and humbled to have been invited to address the Seanad and recognise what an honour this is. I am looking forward to the opportunity to speak to Senators about my hopes for continued work between our two nations and my plans to protect Scotland's interests in the EU."

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