Friday 6 December 2019

No Irish referendum after Brexit vote - Kenny

Enda Kenny. Photo: Getty
Enda Kenny. Photo: Getty
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

There will be no question of an Irish referendum on membership of the European Union even if Britain decides to leave, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

Mr Kenny ruled out the possibility and said the 2012 fiscal treaty, passed by 60pc of voters, was effectively a referendum on Irish support for the union.

"In the middle of the recession Ireland was the only country to have a referendum on the fiscal stability treaty. The people voted 60:40 in favour of that thereby linking our future to the euro, the eurozone and the European union," he said.

Speaking in the Netherlands where he is on trade mission, Mr Kenny said: "Ireland is committed to continuing to be a member of the EU."

British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Germany yesterday where he said he was "even more confident" of getting the reforms necessary to convince British people to stay in the EU after meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said what was good for Britain was "actually good for Europe".

Mr Kenny said: "We want Britain to continue to be a strong and central member of the EU. We will support that in as far as we can," he said, adding that a union with a population of 500 million "is easier to do business in and make a greater impact than if it is beginning to break up".

He indicated that he would hold discussions on the issue with Mr Cameron before the EU meets to discuss his demands next month.

He said €1bn of trade crossed the Irish Sea every week and a Brexit would cause significant difficulties for business.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny will conclude his three-day trade mission by visiting the German city of Munich today, but he is not scheduled to meet with Ms Merkel.

Irish Independent

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