Monday 9 December 2019

Kenny will 'argue loudly' for Ireland

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Enda Kenny insists the Government will "argue vociferously for our country" as the Dáil debated British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech indicating she wants a 'hard Brexit'.

Mr Kenny welcomed the "clarity" brought by Mrs May's remarks and highlighted her stated wish to maintain the Common Travel Area (CTA) with Ireland.

But Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said: "I don't think we should be welcoming a negative clarity."

He warned that Mrs May's intention to get the UK to leave the European Union single market meant tariffs on goods between Britain and Ireland.

Mr Kenny mentioned his phone call with Mrs May, telling the Dáil he outlined Ireland's priorities including the economy, trade, the Border and the Common Travel Area.

Read more: 'Irish people will travel to Britain to work' - Taoiseach welcomes Theresa May's comments on maintaining common travel area

Mr Martin said that while Mrs May would "speak softly", he didn't believe Ireland was high on her list of priorities.

But Mr Kenny insisted: "We will argue vociferously for our country."

Later, in an interview on 'RTÉ News' Mr Kenny said that Ireland was "nearing the point where the formal negotiations can begin".

"The prime minister in her comments referred specifically to issues that are significant to Ireland, despite the fact that there's an election taking place in Northern Ireland," he said.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said: "There was never going to be a soft Brexit."

Irish Independent

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