The Government is to open a new diplomatic office in the north of England as Britain's full break from the EU draws closer.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has chosen Manchester as the location for its fourth diplomatic mission in the UK.

The new Consulate General will be operational next year and will complement an Enterprise Ireland trade office opened in the city last year.

It will form a network with the Embassy in London, and Consulate General offices in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The new consulate, covering the northwest, northeast and Yorkshire and Humberside regions, will aim to boost trade links in the region, which is home to more than 15m people.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: "Enhancing our collaboration with regional and local government in Britain will be a big part of our work to deepen Irish-British links."

The news comes as Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham and Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram make a virtual visit to Irish Government ministers.

A British trade minister will also take part in the discussions.

Last year, Enterprise Ireland client companies increased their exports to the UK by 2% to a record €7.9bn.

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