Kenny cites ‘stream’ of enquiries from UK finance firms after Brexit
Taoiseach says Government would compete ‘fairly and hard’ to lure such companies
Enda Kenny told Bloomberg that every political issue contains opportunities. Photograph: Eric Luke
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government has received a “stream” of enquiries from financial firms and banks planning to leave the United Kingdom after Brexit and that it would compete “fairly and hard” for them.
On the third day of his US visit, Mr Kenny told Bloomberg TV that the Government would be seeking to entice financial companies looking to relocate out of Britain including the European Banking Authority as the UK makes preparations to leave the European Union.
“In every political issue like this, there are always opportunities,” said the Taoiseach who is in New York to meet businesses and Enterprise Ireland clients during a four-day visit to the United States.
Mr Kenny said that the UK would “certainly not” be allowed to cherry-pick the terms and conditions of the country’s exit from the European and that there would be no concessions made to London.
He said that it was “impossible to say” how long it would take Britain to leave the common market but that it would be “probably impossible” for it to happen within the two-year timeframe under the article 50 mechanism once it is triggered. He expects a transition period beyond negotiations.
Mr Kenny said that the Brexit vote “came as a shock” to him and that it was something he did not want.
The Taoiseach said that he was concerned about Italy’s referendum on Sunday on proposals to hand more governing powers to prime minister Matteo Renzi and said that Mr Renzi has been advised that “he should not resign if it [the referendum] were to go wrong”.