British-Irish Council meeting to be Arlene’s swansong

FIRST MINISTER Arlene Foster is preparing for what will be her last major political event tomorrow, and it is fittingly taking place in Fermanagh. From Monday, she will no longer be First Minister.
Despite the fact that when she announced her resignation last month First Minister Foster stated she intended to stay in the post until the end June, on Tuesday new DUP leader Edwin Poots announced Lagan Valley MLA Paul Given would be taking over as First Minister this Monday, June 14th.
That means tomorrow (Friday), when the British-Irish Council (BIC) holds its biannual summit in Fermanagh, it will be First Minister Foster’s last engagement as leader of the Executive.
This Friday’s BIC summit in Fermanagh will be the first non-virtual leaders’ gathering since the start of the pandemic and will see the heads of the devolved UK governments and Crown dependencies, such as Jersey and the Isle of Man, meet to discuss a wide range of issues. The summit is expected to focus mainly on Covid recovery.
It has not been revealed where exactly the summit will take place for security reasons, however it is expected to be hosted by the Lough Erne Resort, which has a track record of hosting heads of state after holding the G8 meeting of world leaders in 2013.
It was already known First Minister Foster will be representing the North at the summit, after new DUP leader Minister Edwin Poots last week told RTE Prime Time she would be hosting what he said was “a very significant meeting.”
“I believe Arlene would like to lead on that and I would very much like her to do that,” said Minister Poots.

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