Saturday 3 December 2016

'We agreed to stay in touch' - Taoiseach on his first chat with new British PM Theresa May

Published 13/07/2016 | 21:56

Theresa May and Enda Kenny spoke on the phone this evening
Theresa May and Enda Kenny spoke on the phone this evening

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has outlined Ireland’s key areas of concern after the Brexit vote to the new British Prime Minister Theresa May.

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The two politicians spoke on the phone tonight just hours after Ms May accepted the keys to 10 Downing Street.

Mr Kenny congratulated the Conservative Party leader on her appointment "on behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland".

In a statement, the Taoiseach's office said they spoke of the strong relationship between Ireland and the UK.

The Prime Ministers also discussed the "important challenges to be faced in the time ahead, not least those arising from the recent vote by the people of the UK to leave the EU".

Speaking tonight, Mr Kenny said: "I have offered my congratulations and best wishes to the Prime Minister following her appointment this evening.

"We discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, including the importance of continuing to work together to build on the excellent relationship that now exists between Ireland and Britain, including our joint support of the peace process and the wider development of co-operation between our two countries."

Mr Kenny said he outlines Ireland’s "key areas of concern and shared my perspective on the challenges that lie ahead in the forthcoming negotiations".

"We agreed to stay in touch and that we would meet each other in the coming weeks," he added.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, who has worked closely with Ms May at an EU level in recent years, added her congratulations.

"I have been privileged to work closely with her as a colleague on Justice and Home Affairs issues and she is a person of great integrity and ability," she said.

Ms Fitzgerald said Ms May assumes office at a challenging time, but expressed her confidence that by working together an outcome in the mutual interest of all sides could be achieved. 

"This is a very challenging time for Britain, Ireland and the European Union.

"We are entering a new era and I look forward to working with Theresa and her administration on  issues of common interest during this period, l particularly in my own area of responsibility in relation to criminal justice matters and the common travel area," Ms Fitzgerald said.

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