Ministers from the eight governments that rule Britain, Ireland and their smaller neighbours meet in Cardiff Castle today. They'll discuss how better connections could boost the economy. Improved road links and better broadband will be part of the discussion but other ideas are being developed as well.
One is to lay two new electricity cables from Ireland to Wales, joining the national grid near Bangor and Pembroke. They would import power from new windfarms in the Irish Midlands. Another is to electrify the north Wales main railway line, which connects at Holyhead with the ferries to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire.
Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and representatives of the UK, Scottish, Northern Irish, Manx, Jersey and Guernsey governments will be greeted by the First Minister Carwyn Jones, who's hosting the latest British Irish Council Summit at Cardiff Castle. As well as economic links, the meeting will discuss early years education. The Welsh Government will lead that discussion, following its introduction of learning through play for children under seven.
– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
I look forward to welcoming ministers from across these Islands to discuss issues of common concern, from how we can grow our economies through to challenges we all face. This is the third time Wales has hosted the British-Irish Council and it remains an important forum for us to share our common experiences and discuss how we can work together.
The British-Irish Council was established under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, as part of the Northern Ireland peace process. It is expected to promote positive, practical relationships and to provide a forum for consultation and co-operation.