Monday 24 July 2017

UK Government attempted to halt Kenny's unity clause before EU meeting

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Rebecca Lumley

The UK Government attempted to halt a declaration that would allow Northern Ireland to automatically rejoin the EU in the event of a unity referendum in Ireland, before a meeting of EU leaders in April.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny had planned to insert an Irish unity declaration into the text of an EU leaders' meeting, during which they adopted the EU’s negotiating mandate ahead of Brexit talks, according to RTE News.

The declaration stated that in the event of a future unity referendum, Northern Ireland would automatically re-join the EU.

It has been revealed, however, that the British Government attempted to have the declaration delayed until after the British General Election, as it was believed that this would damage Theresa May’s chance of success.

In the days leading up to the meeting, it is reported that the British Government staged an “offensive” to try and delay the declaration’s inclusion.

Sources speaking to RTE said that Mr Kenny was “sticking to his guns” and requested the clause, which was adopted unanimously by the 26 other EU member states.

Mrs May was reportedly told that if Mr Kenny requested the clause it would be accepted, as he was “still around the table”, whereas Mrs May was not.

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