Enda Kenny voices 'concern' about lack of nationalist voices in Westminster with Theresa May

Enda Kenny voices 'concern' about lack of nationalist voices in Westminster with Theresa May
File photo.

Outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny has raised concerns about the lack of nationalist voices in Westminster with embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May, writes Daniel McConnell of the Irish Examiner.

The pair spoke by phone this morning.

Amid growing concern and uncertainty over the proposed deal between Mrs May's party and the Democratic Unionist Party, the two leaders discussed at length the potential impact on the Peace Process of the UK General Election result.

Mr Kenny expressed concern that given the lack of any SDLP MP in the new House of Commons and Sinn Féin's policy of not taking their seats, that northern nationalists will have no voice in the British parliament.

According to a statement, the two leaders discussed the outcome of the election and the Prime Minister outlined the proposed supply and confidence arrangement between her party and the DUP.

“The Taoiseach indicated his concern that nothing should happen to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk and the challenge that this agreement will bring,” he said.

Both leaders agreed that of immediate concern were efforts to establish an executive as soon as possible, with exploratory discussions with the NI parties to take place tomorrow, the statement added.

They discussed the meeting between the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire which is scheduled for tomorrow.

On Brexit, Mr Kenny and Mrs May noted that negotiations were scheduled to begin, as previously planned, later this month, with the Taoiseach reiterating Irish concerns. The Taoiseach stated that there should be an early meeting between the Prime Minister and his successor Leo Varadkar and wished her well in the challenges that now lie ahead.

Meanwhile, former Downing Street Communications Director Alastair Campbell expressed his grave concern that the deal with the DUP will prevent from the UK Government from being neutral in the North.

He said Mrs May has "no idea what she is playing with" in seeking a deal with the DUP and that she is “playing with fire”.

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