Kenny set for Brexit talks with EU al­lies

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Jen­nifer Bray Deputy Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

ENDA Kenny flies to The Hague this morn­ing for crunch Brexit talks with the Dutch and Dan­ish prime min­is­ters.

Both coun­tries ex­pect that they – like Ire­land – will be badly dam­aged eco­nom­i­cally by Bri­tain’s de­ci­sion to quit the EU.

The meet­ing with Mark Rutte of The Nether­lands and Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Den­mark is to al­low the three coun­tries to work to­gether ahead of a cru­cial Euro­pean Coun­cil meet­ing on April 29.

It fol­lows trips by the Taoiseach to Ber­lin to meet Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel and Malta to meet Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat. His spokesman said that Ire­land, the Nether­lands and Den­mark share ‘a range of com­mon in­ter­ests in re­la­tion to Brexit, in­clud­ing each hav­ing strong trad­ing re­la­tions with the UK’.

The Taoiseach plans to high­light ‘Ire­land’s spe­cific con­cerns aris­ing from Brexit in re­la­tion to our trade and econ­omy, North­ern Ire­land and the peace process, and the Com­mon Travel Area’.

Mr Kenny said: ‘This meet­ing is part of my strate­gic en­gage­ment with all our EU part­ners, ahead of the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

‘I know both Prime Min­is­ter Rutte and Prime Min­is­ter Rasmussen well from many years of at­tend­ing Euro­pean Coun­cil meet­ings. The Nether­lands, Den­mark and Ire­land have com­mon views on a wide range of EU is­sues. Our meet­ing pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for us to have a de­tailed dis­cus­sion on Brexit fol­low­ing the UK’s trig­ger­ing of Ar­ti­cle 50 and the cir­cu­la­tion of draft EU ne­go­ti­at­ing guide­lines.’

The Taoiseach claimed that the Gov­ern­ment’s work on Brexit has al­ready en­sured that Ir­ish con­cerns are re­flected in the draft ne­go­ti­a­tion guide­lines.

‘How­ever, this is just the start of what will be long and com­plex ne­go­ti­a­tions,’ Mr Kenny warned.

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