Taoiseach Enda Kenny has opened up the possibility of a border poll in the context of Brexit negotiations.
Mr Kenny has also promised to “further strengthen” Ireland’s lucrative corporate tax rate and hinted at reducing personal taxes.
The upcoming budget will be shaped by the challenges posed by Brexit, Mr Kenny said, adding that a second secretary general will be appointed to his department to specifically deal with Britain’s exit from Europe.
At the MacGill Summer School last night, Mr Kenny said a vote on whether the North should join the Republic should be considered during Brexit talks.
Mr Kenny said: “If there is a clear evidence of a majority of people wishing to leave the United Kingdom and join the Republic, then that should be catered for in the discussions that take place.
“The discussions and negotiations that take place over the next period should take into account the possibility, however far out it might be, that the clause in the Good Friday Agreement might be triggered.”
Comparing the situation to the Berlin Wall, he suggested that the North would be able to stay in the EU if it voted to unite with Ireland.
“In the same way as East Germany was dealt with when the wall came down, and was able to be absorbed into West Germany, and not to have to have to go through a torturous and long process of applying for membership of the European Union,” he said.
“People said it would be impossible that Britain would leave the European Union, and that has taken place now by virtue of the Brexit referendum.
“So in the context of discussions that will take place about the future, about the connections between the republic and Northern Ireland, between Northern Ireland and the UK and the EU, and our relationship with both, these are things that should be looked at in the context of that they might happen in some time in the future.”
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