3, November 2016
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has warned of a “vicious” approach by the EU in negotiations over Britain’s exit from the bloc. Speaking among politicians, business leaders, trade unionists and community organizations in the capital Dublin on Wednesday, the premier further assured the nation that Brexit would not limit movement between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland by setting a “hard border.”
He said he had been assured by British Prime Minister Theresa May that there would be “no return to the borders of the past” after Brexit. The prime minister also urged leaders of the European Union not to be “obsessed” with the UK’s gains and losses in Brexit negotiations, asserting that “The other side of this argument may well get quite vicious after a while, because there are those around the European table who take a very poor view of the fact that Britain decided to leave.”
Ireland’s foreign minister, Charlie Flanagan, who also attended the Dublin conference along with all leaders of the nationalist political parties on the island, said London was being pushed over maintaining the “invisible” border after Brexit.
“It is vitally important in the context of the [Brexit] negotiations next year that the matter of the invisibility of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is not only featured but is both preserved and maintained,” Flanagan said. On June 23, nearly 52 percent of Britons voted in a referendum to end their country’s 42-year membership in the EU. Nearly 56 percent of the voters in Northern Ireland voted in favor of remaining an EU member.