EU leaders very aware of Ireland’s unique position after Brexit, says Enda Kenny

EU leaders very aware of Ireland’s unique position after Brexit, says Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Brexit vote has highlighted the “crisis in confidence” in the European Union and politics in general, writes Elaine Loughlin, Political Reporter in Brussels.

Speaking after a meeting between all EU leaders apart from David Cameron in Brussels this morning, Mr Kenny said the other heads of State are very aware of Ireland’s unique position and ties to Britain.

But he said “there were different perspectives” among European leaders on how quickly Britain must leave the EU.

Mr Kenny said he used the EU council summit to point out the “very long history” between both countries but said that “relations are stronger than ever before”

He added “the closer the relationships the EU are going to have with Britain the better for us”.

“I think Prime Minister Cameron appreciated that and members around the table understand our position there.

“But also I made the point that we have had a common travel area since 1922 and also that the European Union itself is an evolving peace process."

“He pointed out the importance of the peace process in Northern Ireland and the open border,” Mr Kenny said.

He said issues around the future of the border would be discussed at the North South meeting of ministers on Monday.

Mr Kenny said: “The outcome of the referendum in the UK has highlighted the crisis in confidence not only in the European Union but also in politics in general across the western world.”

He said both meetings – last night’s summit which included David Cameron and the breakfast meeting this morning without him - had been “very calm and very considered and very measured”.

He said there was “clear agreement” that there should be “some little time given” to the Conservative Party to elect a new Prime Minister.

“There can be and will be no negotiations” until the British trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which would start an official exit, he said.

“There were different perspectives about how quickly this should take place, people did feel that a new Prime Minister should have some little time to review his or her situation and to make their views known."

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