Enda Kenny’s feelings put ahead of the country's future

This prolonged game of when he will or won’t stand down is long become a costly joke which is being played on the public, writes Daniel McConnell.

Enda Kenny’s feelings put ahead of the country's future

Last Friday in Brussels, Taoiseach Enda Kenny looked decidedly miffed.

Having had a sit-down with British counterpart Theresa May the night before, Mr Kenny came away empty-handed when he asked her directly when she intended triggering her country’s exit from Europe.

She refused to shed any light for him.

Mr Kenny indicated his firm annoyance at London’s continuing vagueness about what exactly its relationship will be with the EU, in particular its attitude to membership or otherwise of the EU customs union.

“We didn’t cause this,” he said. “We have to put up with the consequences of it.

“In order to deal with the consequences, we have to know what the relationship that’s being sought by Britain is, beyond having the closest possible relationship with the EU.”

Fast-forward just 24 hours and strong briefings from Downing Street made it clear the formal triggering of Article 50, the mechanism under the Lisbon Treaty by which Brexit can occur, could happen as early as Tuesday.

Just as the news was filtering out, Kenny and his band of Cabinet and junior ministers began their mass exodus for the St Patrick’s Day events around the globe.

At best it looks unfortunate, at worst it looks calamitous that our closest neighbour is refusing to keep us in the loop as to what is going on.

Such is the concern that all ministers who are travelling abroad are on notice to be home within 24 hours.

“Every minister would be sent out based on what would happen with Brexit. All ministers are required to be on a day’s notice to return home should it be needed,” said Junior Minister John Halligan at the weekend.

It is unfortunate as Kenny, by his own choice, is the designated Brexit overlord in our Government.

Rather than being in Dublin or even London, where our focus really should be this week, he is in Washington on his last (probably) jaunt to the White House.

This mess stems from the desire in Fine Gael to put Kenny’s feelings ahead of the country’s needs.

This prolonged game of when he will or won’t stand down is long become a costly joke which is being played on the public.

But what is also clear from the weekend is that, despite all the cosy chats with Ms May and her colleagues, our welfare is nowhere near being a priority for the British government.

They will, as is their right, to look after their national interest in the Brexit talks with Europe and whether we get burned or not is of no consequence to them.

It is just a shame our Government, and Fine Gael in particular, are not willing to ensure our well-being is secured.

Well not at least until Kenny decides he has had enough of hanging around.

We cannot wait that long and deserve much better.

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