Sunday 28 May 2017

Brexit a 'disorientating prospect' for Ireland with serious consequences for the north - Donald Tusk

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD & President of the European Council, Donald Tusk speaking to media following a working lunch between the two at Government Buildings, Dublin. Discussions focused on the future of Europe and preparations for the upcoming Informal Summit of 27 EU Heads of State and Government in Bratislava Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD & President of the European Council, Donald Tusk speaking to media following a working lunch between the two at Government Buildings, Dublin. Discussions focused on the future of Europe and preparations for the upcoming Informal Summit of 27 EU Heads of State and Government in Bratislava Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Brexit is a “disorientating prospect” for Ireland, with serious consequences for the north, European Council President Donald Tusk has said.

On a visit to Dublin, Mr Tusk said he and Taoiseach Enda Kenny are working to ensure Ireland doesn’t suffer from a decision it had no hand in.

Mr Tusk met with Mr Kenny ahead of talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May tomorrow, as part of a tour of European capitals.

“I know that Brexit is a very disorientating prospect for Ireland,” Mr Tusk told reporters, without taking questions.

“You are a committed EU member. Sooner or later, your biggest trading partner and the country with which you share a long history, will not be. The consequences of this are serious also for the situation in Northern Ireland.

“The Taoiseach and I are working together to ensure that your country does not suffer from a decision that it didn’t make.”

The purpose of Mr Tusk’s European tour is to brief and listen to leaders ahead of an informal summit of EU leaders in Bratislava next week, which will discuss European reform in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Mr Tusk said the Taoiseach would be the first leader who he will brief after the meeting with Ms May tomorrow.

President of the European Council, Donald Tusk & Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a working lunch between the two at Government Buildings, Dublin. Discussions will focused on the future of Europe and preparations for the upcoming Informal Summit of 27 EU Heads of State and Government in Bratislava Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk & Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a working lunch between the two at Government Buildings, Dublin. Discussions will focused on the future of Europe and preparations for the upcoming Informal Summit of 27 EU Heads of State and Government in Bratislava Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mr Tusk said the Bratislava summit is not about Brexit as such, but “about bringing back political control of our common future”.

He said people are turning against “what they perceive as an irrational openness”.

“They see the world around them getting more chaotic. Uncontrolled migration, terrorism, injustices linked to globalisation. We have to control such issues with real and uniform political leadership.

“And when I say leadership, I don’t mean the institutions, but the community of member states and their leaders. What must be delivered is a sense of security and order.”

He said the EU must be about protection, of our freedoms, security and quality and way of life.

“Our goal is to regain a sense that globalisation is an opportunity and not a threat,” he said.

He said the Summit needs to show that politicians are not detached from reality.

Mr Tusk said that while the Taoiseach had explained the Government’s decision to appeal the Apple case, he would not be commenting. He said taxation would not be a major issue in Bratislava.

Mr Tusk also said that Ireland had always been "a respected voice around the European table".

He said Ireland's recovery was remarkable, and that the country was "a symbol in Europe of effective crisis management".

"Without Ireland's sacrifice and example, the European Union  would be in a worse situation now, and we know it," he said.

Mr Kenny said Brexit would not be discussed at the summit because there will be no negotiations or discussions about the UK leaving the EU until Article 50 is triggered.

Mr Kenny later told reporters that no reassurances were given by Mr Tusk surrounding the border with Northern Ireland post Brexit.

The Taoiseach said they discussed the implication of having a border on the island.

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