Minister: Ireland a 'rock of stability' regardless of UK's outcome with EU
Talk of a 'hard' or 'soft' Brexit is "meaningless" and Ireland will be a "rock of stability" regardless of how the talks play out, junior minister Eoghan Murphy will tell business groups in China.
Mr Murphy's message to investors in Asia was prepared before news broke that British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to seek a 'hard' Brexit. It takes on new significance in light of her expected approach. The junior finance minister is on a four-day visit to Hong Kong and Beijing, where he is to address the Irish investor community. He will say that "no one is preparing for a 'soft' Brexit anymore" and that ensuring the UK leaves the European Union in an orderly fashion is a priority.
According to Mr Murphy this will be an "important focus of the Irish Government's diplomatic efforts" because the "risks" of "a disorderly exit or break down in talks are beyond the worst-case scenario".
But he will insist that "Ireland will be a rock of stability and certainty for investors in these uncertain times".
Mr Murphy is also set to criticise the European Commission, who he argues has "gotten it wrong" on Brexit before and after the British vote.
He will say Taoiseach Enda Kenny is "absolutely" right to assert the primacy and responsibility of the heads of government in member states in Brexit talks over the Commission.
Mr Murphy is tasked in his junior minister role with luring banks and other financial institutions in London to Ireland post-Brexit.
Last week he briefed Cabinet on the IFS 2020 plan, which includes a European Financial Forum event in Dublin Castle later this month. Mr Murphy is attending the Asia Financial Forum in Hong Kong today and tomorrow and will travel to Beijing on Wednesday. He is to speak at Ireland-China investment conferences in both cities.