Tuesday 23 January 2018

Brexit transition period should be 'as long as it takes'– Kenny

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Brexit transition period should be "as long as it take to find a solution" according to former-Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV ahead of a Brexit themed conference in New York organised by law firm Matheson, Mr Kenny also described the prospect of a hard Brexit as "catastrophic for business" and noted that "sufficient progress had not been made" to allow negotiations move on to their second phase.

"The prospect of a 'Hard Brexit' that many are now discussing would, in my opinion, be catastrophic for business and by extension terrible for the people that politics is meant to serve.

That is the challenge now for those involved directly in the ongoing talks," Mr Kenny said.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Matheson managing partner, Michael Jackson, said that almost 16 months on from the Brexit vote result, US multinationals with operations in Europe were still seeking certainty.

"In the absence of the necessary clarity around Brexit, businesses are now making decisions to secure their long-term ability to access European markets beyond Brexit," Mr Jackson said.

Over 200 people from a wide range of sectors are attending the event in New York, including Ireland’s foreign direct investment agency, IDA Ireland.

The comments come ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels today during which the British Government will be told that it must be willing to make more concessions.

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