Government has a ‘clear plan’ for Brexit, Kenny claims

Micheál Martin had said officials were not prepared for the UK voting to leave the EU

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government would have a ‘clear plan’ in place if the UK votes to leave the EU. File photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government would have a ‘clear plan’ in place if the UK votes to leave the EU. File photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the Government would have a “clear plan” in place if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Mr Kenny said the key priority for the Government should the UK opt out of the bloc in Thursday’s referendum would be “to protect and promote Ireland’s interests to the greatest extent possible”.

During Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin claimed the Government had not made real preparations for a Brexit, and that officials were “praying” that the UK would vote to remain.

Mr Kenny said the Government had detailed plans in order to respond to a Brexit, and that “we have a whole-of-Government contingency framework which maps the key issues that would be most important to Ireland”.

Mr Kenny said a referendum result was expected at about 5am on Friday and there would be an early morning Cabinet meeting on the outcome if necessary.

Brexit or Bremain: How would you vote?

Brussels meeting

EU leaders will meet in Brussels next week to discuss the referendum result, whether the UK’s decides to leave or remain.

Mr Kenny said that, if the UK exited the EU, all member states had to reform the union.

He said there would be two years of talks on the terms of the UK’s exit should voters opt to leave.

However, the Taoiseach said he was hopeful that the mood in the UK had changed in the past few days and that voters may decide to remain in the EU.

He said many commentators had suggested there would be a period of volatility in the markets following a Brexit and that sterling would suffer strong losses against the euro.

He said that “if a sustained decrease in the value of sterling did transpire, clearly this would have serious implications for our exports”.

He said the Government’s contingency framework “also contains clear actions on communications and diplomatic contacts”.