EU turns attention to Brexit’s impact on Border

Summit told UK departure to be ‘smooth’ as leaders haggle over Russia and Canada

FROM THE ARCHIVE: MP Tom Elliott was a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment during the Troubles. He takes us back to the areas he used to patrol, telling us what life was like back then. Video: Enda O'Dowd


The future of North-South relations could be addressed at the start of Brexit negotiations early next year, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has told the Taoiseach.

Speaking in Brussels after a meeting of the European Council yesterday, Mr Kenny said Mr Juncker was aware of the importance and complexity of the issues Brexit raises for the island of Ireland.

Mr Kenny said the next meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council on November 18th offered an opportunity for Ministers from both sides of the Border to identify the key issues.

“It would be very important that the Assembly . . . would be able to give their combined view as to what their requests for Northern Ireland are. This will not be easy, and there will be very tough negotiations with the UK government from the European view when the negotiations start,” he said.

Established under the Belfast Agreement in 1998, the council co-ordinates cross-Border co-operation in a number of policy areas.

Theresa May used her first EU summit as prime minister to reassure other leaders that Britain would take a constructive approach to next year’s withdrawal negotiations.

“I’m sure there’ll be difficult moments. It will require some give and take. But I firmly believe that if we approach this in a constructive spirit, as I am, then we can deliver a smooth departure and build a powerful new relationship that works both for the UK and for the countries of the EU,” she said.

Sanctions row


EU leaders left Brussels on Friday with the future of a trade deal with Canada, which took seven years to negotiate and had the backing of all 28 national governments, uncertain. Parliamentarians in Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia are blocking the deal.

Canada’s trade minister Chrystia Freeland walked out of a meeting with the regional MPs yesterday, declaring the deal dead.

Earlier, the Taoiseach said he does not believe that there are any impending state-aid cases against Ireland from the European Commission similar to that against Apple.

Tax arrangements

The Irish Times Margrethe Vestager

Mr Kenny confirmed that Ireland provided details of all tax rulings between 2010 and 2012 but said the commission had opened a state aid investigation in respect of only one case. 

“No other state aid cases have been opened against Ireland arising from the information submitted to the commission, nor have we any indication that there are any other cases under consideration,” he said. “That is not to say that at some future point the commission might not wish to reverse that.”