Taoiseach: Brexit agreement must allow for Irish Reunification

Enda Kenny has told European leaders any Brexit deal must allow the North to easily rejoin the EU in the event of a united Ireland

The Taoiseach has said that any agreement between the UK and the EU following Brexit negotiations must allow for Irish reunification in line with the Good Friday Agreement.

Enda Kenny has been discussing the implications of Brexit with the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker this afternoon.

Mr Kenny said any Brexit deal should include language that would allow the North to easily return to the EU in the event of a united Ireland - as is provided for under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking after the meeting he said German reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall provided a precedent for the inclusion.

He pointed out that the agreement is internationally binding and was voted on by Irish citizens north and south of the border.

“We want that to remain in such a position that the language of what is contained in the Good Friday Agreement will also be contained in the negotiation outcome,” said Mr Kenny.

“In other words, if at some future time - whenever that might be, if it were to occur - Northern Ireland would have ease of access to join as a member of the European Union again.

“We want that language inserted into the negotiated outcome.”

Mr Juncker said the European Commission does not want Brexit to result in a hard border on the island of Ireland:

“I wanted to reassure each and everyone in Ireland that the Commission and the Irish Government will work closely together during the whole process of the Brexit negotiations,” he said. “We don’t want to have hard borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

“We want to have the Good Friday Agreement not being put under risks.”

Mr Juncker said Ireland and the EU must work together to minimise the impact of the UK exiting the EU.

Earlier in the day Mr Kenny held a meeting with the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.