Sunday 23 July 2017

Kenny hopes to lead Irish team at first Brexit talks

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Damien Eagers
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Damien Eagers

Sarah Collins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has signalled that he might not be stepping down as quickly as his party members think.

In Brussels yesterday the Fine Gael leader said he hoped to lead Ireland's team into the initial Brexit negotiations.

It has been widely reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50, thereby allowing for the start of negotiations, on March 9.

However, Mr Kenny said this "might be delayed a little".

EU leaders are expected to meet in early April to discuss their strategy for negotiating exit terms with Britain.

"But clearly the important meetings for setting up the negotiations are ones that I do hope to be in attendance at, and play our part in setting out again our priorities here," he said.

Mr Kenny was appearing at a press conference in Brussels along side European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Mr Juncker said he would be "very, very sad" to see the Taoiseach stand down.

"I will continue to work as closely as possible with Enda in the next coming weeks and months, and if something would happen which would lead me to be very, very sad, relations will nevertheless continue," Mr Juncker said.

"Relations between persons are not linked to the functions these persons have."

Irish Independent

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