Tuesday 21 November 2017

Taoiseach intervenes on behalf of Scottish government in their bid to stay in the European Union

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent in Brussels

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has intervened on behalf of the Scottish government in their bid to stay in the European Union.

Mr Kenny said that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked him to raise the Scottish referendum result - which saw people vote to remain in the EU by 62pc to 38pc- at last night's European Council meeting.

He said that he met Ms Sturgeon at the recent British Irish Council meeting in Glasgow and that she asked him in the case of an overall leave vote in the United Kingdom to raise her country's "very strong belief that they should not be dragged out of the European Union having voted to stay".

Mr Kenny said he spoke to her again yesterday and that "she wanted that repeated which I said on her behalf last evening".

He was meeting with the 27 other EU leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron who was there to officialy explain the Brexit vote to other EU member states.

Ms Sturgeon is in Brussels today where she met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

She said she is there to "make sure Scotland's voice is being heard".

She said she welcomed Mr Kenny's intervention on behalf of Scotland and that she is "very grateful" to him.

"Ireland is a great friend to Scotland," she added.

Meanwhile Mr Kenny said he emphasised the important of the Common Travel area between Ireland and the United Kingdom in his meetings with other European leaders and said the best outcome would be if Britain remained in the single market.  

He said: "Members around the table are well aware both of our relationship with Britain, the Common Travel area and the fact that the peace process has been so important for Northern Ireland – for our relations north and south and between Ireland and the UK. I reminded them of that last night and again this morning."

And Mr Kenny added:

"Obviously from our point over view the best [outcome] would be to have Britain have access to the single market because that would deal with our trading position but that means that the acceptance of the four principles which includes movement of people.

"The leave campaign as you know were vehemently in favour of reducing migration numbers. That’s matter for them to sort out," he said.

Online Editors

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