Kenny says reforms can be met without treaty change


Many of the EU reforms being demanded by Britain could be addressed within the bloc without immediate treaty change, Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday told delegates at the World Economic Forum.

A day after British prime minister David Cameron promised UK voters a referendum on EU membership if re-elected in 2015, Mr Kenny noted that “five years is an eternity in politics”.

“The EU will be stronger if Britain remains part of that,” said Mr Kenny, on a panel that included Italian, Danish and Dutch leaders. “I would like to see Britain remain central for the European Union.”

Ireland had linked its future to the euro zone and Europe, he said, but was well aware of both the British debate and its contribution to Europe, in particular the common market.

“We are the closest partner to Britain; there is great contact,” he said.

Insisting that he did not speak for the British government, he suggested that many issues of concern to London – such as cutting bureaucracy to boost economic activity – “are things you can change from inside”.