Foreign Affairs Minister: Ireland is 'Team EU' in Brexit talks

Foreign Affairs Minister: Ireland is 'Team EU' in Brexit talks

Update 5pm: The Foreign Affairs Minister says Ireland is firmly on Team EU and will not be a proxy for the UK in Brexit talks.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's formally triggered 'Article 50' and divorce proceedings with the EU will now begin.

They are expected to take at least two years with Britain saying it still wants a new deep and special partnership with the EU - from the outside.

The official letter starting the process made specialmention of the Republic of Ireland, the peace process and a wish for no hard border.

But Minister Charlie Flanagan has said Ireland's position on negotiations is now with the other 26 EU countries.

Earlier: Negotiating Brexit will "be very challenging and very complicated" Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said, writes Elaine Loughlin.

Reacting to the triggering of Article 50 by the British Government, Mr Kenny has remained adamant that Brexit will not signal a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Mr Kenny welcomed the fact that Theresa May had made reference to the importance of protecting both Northern Ireland and Ireland in her letter but he added that "a country can't be seen to be advantaged by leaving" so negotiations would have to take account of that.

Foreign Affairs Minister: Ireland is 'Team EU' in Brexit talks

Speaking at the EPP congress in Malta this afternoon Mr Kenny said: "The trading positions, relationships between the United Kingdom and the European Union are critical issues, I think these will run a lot longer than the two year period but central to that will be no return to a hard border as the only land border in the union.

"It's now a reality that we have to deal with the consequences of the vote of the United Kingdom

"This will not be easy, it will be very challenging and very complicated, we have set out our priorities and our main objectives."

Outlining the priorities of protecting the peace process, the Good Friday Agreement and the open border on the island of Ireland he said he was "glad to see that these are reflected in the letter of the British Prime Minister to the President of the European Council".

He added that both the British and Irish governmetn had agreed that "there should not be and will not be a return to a hard border and by that I mean customs posts on the road from Dundalk to Derry that brought with it sectarian violence over a long period and brought about all those troubles."

More on this topic

No-deal Brexit tariffs could ‘massively reduce’ competitiveness, warn British farmersNo-deal Brexit tariffs could ‘massively reduce’ competitiveness, warn British farmers

Number 10: Freedom of movement will end on October 31 if there is no Brexit dealNumber 10: Freedom of movement will end on October 31 if there is no Brexit deal

Johnson ‘confident’ EU will shift position on Brexit dealJohnson ‘confident’ EU will shift position on Brexit deal

Maritime college seeking student work placements with non UK-based companies due to Brexit fearsMaritime college seeking student work placements with non UK-based companies due to Brexit fears

More in this Section

Gardaí investigating whether fire in Cork was started deliberatelyGardaí investigating whether fire in Cork was started deliberately

Tracker Mortgage Scandal: Hundreds may find their complaints judged out of date Tracker Mortgage Scandal: Hundreds may find their complaints judged out of date

Irish 'blame culture' contributing to shortage of consultantsIrish 'blame culture' contributing to shortage of consultants

HSE spending on agency staff in mental health services nearly twice its budgetHSE spending on agency staff in mental health services nearly twice its budget


Lifestyle

The Leaving Cert points have been tallied, the CAO offers made, and now the hunt is on for student accommodation.Making Cents: Now, first-years must learn how to rent a room

A dermatologist gives their advice on what to do when your skin is suffering from post-partum hormones.How your skin can change post-pregnancy and what you can do about it

Sadly, the deceased Okjokull Glacier might just be the tip of the iceberg.As Iceland mourns a departed glacier – Five glaciers to visit before they disappear

Bride and groom Aoife O’Callaghan and Finbarr McCarthy returned to the scene of their first encounter — and first date — on their big day.Wedding of the week: Aoife and Finbarr's love is true Blue

More From The Irish Examiner