Enda Kenny to warn the UK not to renege on Belfast Agreement

Taoiseach is to hold talks on Brexit and Stormont with Theresa May next week

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny does not expect the UK to abandon its commitments under the Belfast Agreement after it leaves the EU and will make this "very clear" to the British prime minister Theresa May when they meet next week, he said on Monday.

“While Britain will leave the European Union that does not mean that it will renege on its obligations under the Good Friday Agreement,” Mr Kenny said.

"People voted North and South for that agreement. They voted in the expectation that what they were voting for would continue to be their rights as European citizens and we will make that very clear when we discuss these matters with prime minister May after she returns from the United States next week."

It is expected that Mrs May will visit Dublin next Monday or Tuesday for talks with Mr Kenny which are likely to focus on preparations for Brexit and the future of the Stormont powersharing institutions.


Neither London nor Dublin have released any details yet of Mrs May’s visit.

Brexit-related issues continue to crowd the Government’s agenda.

The Taoiseach will address the European Financial Forum, a meeting of financial services industry figures, in Dublin Castle today, where he will stress a strong “open for business” message.

‘Clear plan’

"Ireland has demonstrated a capacity to deal effectively with profound challenges to our economy and society, the recent period of economic turmoil and bailout being a case in point," Mr Kenny will tell delegates.

“Ireland has a clear plan and a clear response to the challenges that Brexit will present and we will overcome them one by one.”

Mr Kenny will repeat the Government's strong pitch to secure the relocation of the European Banking Authority, currently headquartered in London.

“With its significant financial services sector and efficient transport links to other European capitals, Dublin is the ideal choice for the authority’s relocation,” Mr Kenny will tell the forum.

The Government is hopeful of attracting significant banking and financial services business from London, according to sources. The Taoiseach held meetings with a number of senior figures from the industry in Davos last week.

“After the UK’s exit from the EU, Ireland will be the only English-speaking, common-law country in the European Union,” he will tell delegates today.

“We will continue to offer a stable, predictable and certain business environment alongside continued access to the European market of over 400 million people.

“I know that many UK-based financial services companies are considering moving some of their operations in light of Brexit.”

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times