State will not follow the UK out of the EU, Noonan claims

Minister for Finance claims report on the likelihood of an ‘Irexit’ is ‘fake news’

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has insisted there is no possibility the State will follow the UK out of the EU. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has insisted there is no possibility the State will follow the UK out of the EU. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has insisted there is no possibility the State will follow the UK out of the EU.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of EU ministers of finance, Mr Noonan rejected a report over the weekend that “Irexit” was likely.

Responding to the report, Mr Noonan said: “I would use a phrase that I would never use but I am borrowing . . . from president [Donald] Trump - fake news or very fake news.

“There is no possibility whatsoever [of Irexit].”

An article written by staunch Brexiteer Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday raised the prospect of the State leaving the EU.

Mr Heffer wrote: “I expect it won’t be too long before Ireland wants to leave the EU as well, not simply because of the importance of its trade with the UK, but because the EU is determined to forbid it to operate the 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate that is just about the only thing keeping it economically viable.”

He also said that the idea that there would be a return to violence in the North if a hard Border was imposed after Brexit was “scaremongering, terrorism in Ireland has never died, and there is no link between it and new Border controls”.

Hard Border

Mr Heffer said he was against a hard Border in Ireland.

Instead, he stated that the UK would “just have to become ruthless at tracking illegal immigrants down, and deporting them”.

Last year, Mr Heffer, in a column to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, compared the Irish desire for freedom from Britain to Brexit.