Taoiseach to travel to UK in last-ditch bid to rally Irish voters against Brexit

Two-day trip comes as polls point to growing support for leave side

Enda Kenny, gangland, murders, north-inner city, Dublin, invite, Maureen O'Sullivan

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is pictured at Dublin Castle | Image: RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is to visit the UK today in a bid to encourage Irish emigrants to vote to remain in the EU.

Up to half a million Irish-born people living in Britain are entitled to cast a ballot in next week’s Brexit referendum.

Mr Kenny is set to attend a series of engagements in Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow during his two-day trip.

The Fine Gael leader will address the Irish community at St Michael's Community Centre in Liverpool and the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester.

He is also scheduled to speak at a British Irish Chamber of Commerce event at Grant Thornton in Manchester.

Mr Kenny will then travel to Glasgow to attend the 26th British Irish Council (BIC) Summit, hosted by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and address an Irish business event in the offices of RSM Partners.

A statement from the Department of the Taoiseach said the trip will be used to set out the Irish government’s position on the referendum.

The statement said Mr Kenny will again outline the main reasons why the government is opposing a potential British withdrawal from the EU:

  • the support that the EU provides to Northern Ireland and the peace process,
  • the common travel area and free movement between the islands,
  • the importance of the UK as an ally in the EU, 
  • the inter-dependence of our economies, particularly regarding trade.

British Prime Minister David Cameron had been due to attend a press conference with Mr Kenny in Manchester tomorrow but he pulled out of the event this week due to “scheduling issues”.

Recent polls have pointed to growing support for the leave side in the campaign.