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Positive early reports from BIC meeting

Chief Minister Allan Bell

Discussions have concluded in Dublin in one of the most crucial British-Irish Councils in recent memory.

Chief Minister Allan Bell was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister Juan Watterson.

Also at the meeting were the political figureheads from all over the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands.

The topic of heated debate this week has been the proposed Scottish referendum on independence.

It’s understood Mr Bell discussed this and it’s potential implications on the Isle of Man with the country’s First Minister Alex Salmond.

The UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg represented Westminster at the meeting where the eyes of the British press have been taking in the ongoing developments.

Mr Watterson also took part in top-level discussions on a range of issues, including the state of the economy, challenges presented by youth unemployment and efforts to address problem drug use.

This afternoon, the Chief Minister said: "All our governments are facing, and working hard to address, significant fiscal challenges. 

"BIC draws everybody together to focus on ways to grow our economies and create a more sustainable future for people across our islands. 

"From an Isle of Man perspective, it is also an opportunity to reaffirm our economic value to our closest neighbours and trading partners.”

The next British-Irish Council Summit will be hosted by Scotland in June and we’ll have more reaction from Allan Bell on Monday’s news updates.

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