Friday 19 January 2018

Noonan clashes with Germany on Brexit fallout

Campaign suspended after murder of Labour MP Jo Cox

German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble and Michael Noonan. Photo: Peter Cavanagh
German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble and Michael Noonan. Photo: Peter Cavanagh
MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in a horrific attack in her Yorkshire constituency

Donal O’Donovan and Colm Kelpie

Ireland will back keeping Britain in the single market, even if the country votes to leave the European Union.

Opening the door to a post-Brexit free-trade deal while the UK vote hangs in the balance runs the risk of making British Prime Minister David Cameron's effort to shore up faltering support for the 'Remain' side even harder.

His campaign is focused on highlighting the economic risk to Britain, especially the possible loss of access to EU markets.

However, Finance Minister Michael Noonan says Ireland will lobby for Britain to stay part of the single market. He is playing down the tough stand of Germany's Wolfgang Schauble, who says the UK would be locked out of the common trade area if the Brexit vote is carried.

"What Mr Schauble says is legally and technically correct, but I don't think it is the end position," Mr Noonan told the Irish Independent at an EU meeting in Luxembourg.

Meanwhile, the Brexit campaign has been suspended following the murder of MP Jo Cox. The 41-year-old mother-of-two died after she was shot and stabbed in a horrific assault in her Yorkshire constituency.

Eyewitnesses heard her attacker shout "put Britain first" at least twice as he killed her.

President Michael D Higgins led Irish tributes to the MP.

Irish Independent

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