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Monday 15 September 2014

Joint trade mission with Cameron on cards, says Kenny

Niall O'Connor, Political Correspondent

Published 10/04/2014 | 02:30

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron greets President Michael D. Higgins as he arrives at Number 10 Downing Street
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron greets President Michael D. Higgins as he arrives at Number 10 Downing Street
David Cameron welcomes Michael D Higgins to Downing Street. PA/John Stillwell

A joint trade mission between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister David Cameron is to take place in what would represent an unprecedented step for the Irish and British governments.

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Mr Kenny confirmed that he has instructed his officials to examine the potential for such an agreement in a bid to drum up investment for both countries.

The announcement was made at a special business breakfast in London's Mansion House, during which Mr Kenny said the relationship between Ireland and Britain has reached an "unprecedented high level of trust".

The Taoiseach said he held discussions about a joint trade mission with his British counterpart, adding that the move could result in "brilliant outcomes".

"I'm very much in favour of this as is the prime minister, so we'll get our people to work together and see if we can make that happen.

OPPORTUNITIES

"I think it would be a demonstration of the uniqueness of the relationship in a trading sense between Ireland and Britain and therefore both economies and peoples," Mr Kenny said.

"They have opportunities and we have opportunities and therefore together it could be a really brilliant outcome," he added.

While Mr Kenny said no particular region was selected, government sources pointed to the likelihood of a joint trade mission to the Middle East or Asia.

Separately, Mr Kenny appeared to heap pressure on the British over their potential exit from the European Union.

During his speech, he said he respected that a debate on the matter was ongoing but that the EU was a "shared asset" and membership had been very important to Irish people, particularly business people.

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron yesterday spoke publicly about the significance of President Michael D Higgins' state visit.

The Tory Party leader said that both Ireland and Britain had become "deep friends" and that Anglo-Irish relations were now on an "ever-increasing gradient".

"I am really excited by the things that we are now doing together, two countries and two governments," Mr Cameron said.

"But we must, as you said last night and her majesty said last night, keep on with the work of reconciliation, including in Northern Ireland. It is wonderful the visit that you are making, it builds on her majesty's excellent and remarkable visit of three years ago," he added.

Irish Independent

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