Economic ties to fore as Kenny meets Cameron

Closer economic ties will be agreed between Ireland and Britain today when Enda Kenny meets David Cameron in Downing Street.

Increased co-operation in Europe and on global issues will also be agreed when the Taoiseach meets the British prime minister.

The London meeting comes amid a build-up of the traditional St Patrick’s Day celebrations at home and abroad, which will see 16 ministers travelling to foreign countries this week.

The focus of today’s meeting between the two leaders will be to conclude and publish plans for the development of British-Irish relations over the next decade, the Department of Taoiseach said.

At their January meeting, the two decided the time was right for a strengthening of ties and they agreed to meet again this month to finalise the plans.

The agreement comes amid the increased isolation of Britain in Europe after Mr Cameron refused to sign the new EU fiscal compact treaty, which he claimed would hit London financial firms with a tax.

Both Mr Kenny and Mr Cameron are also expected to reaffirm the two leaders’ commitment to the Northern peace process.

His London trip comes ahead of the exodus of ministers later this week who will travel to four continents for St Patrick’s Day celebrations and to drum up business for Ireland.

Mr Kenny will travel to the US and visit Chicago, New York and Washington, where he will meet President Barack Obama.

The Mar 16 Chicago trip is drawing criticism over costs as Mr Kenny and his team fly from Chicago to South Bend, just 90 miles away, at a cost of hundreds of dollars each. The cost of a one-way train ticket for the journey is about $12.


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