Taoiseach set for Brexit talks with Angela Merkel

Enda Kenny said today's meeting with the German Chancellor will focus on Brexit negotiations and the future of the EU

Taoiseach set for Brexit talks with Angela Merkel

Taoiseach Enda Kenny holds a joint press conference with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on the second day of his visit to the US | Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The Taoiseach is set to hold high level talks with the German Chancellor in Berlin today.

Enda Kenny is leading a trade mission to Germany where he will engage with key trade, tourism and investment partners – as well as Irish companies based in the country.

The discussions with Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to focus on Brexit, as well as the future direction of the European Union.

The government believes engagement with key EU partners over recent months has led to “a good understanding of Ireland’s unique concerns” arising from Britain’s exit from the EU.

Mr Kenny said Chancellor Merkel is a “close friend and partner of Ireland in the EU” adding that the meeting provides an opportunity to have a detailed discussion the negotiating process ahead.

"This visit is part of my ongoing intensive engagement in preparation for the upcoming Brexit negotiations, which will be so crucial for Ireland,” he said.

He said he was pleased that Ireland’s concerns have been reflected in the EUs draft negotiation guidelines.

“However this is just the start of what will be long and complex negotiations,” he said. “Our preparations also include focusing on new trade and investment opportunities, and during my visit to Germany, I will also meet with key business representatives and clients of our state agencies.”

"Visits of this kind are an essential element of supporting jobs and growth in the Irish economy."

The Taoiseach's first stop will be in Frankfurt where he will meet Irish companies based in Germany.

Germany is Ireland's fourth largest merchandise trade partner, with total bilateral trade of approximately €25bn and later today Mr Kenny will deliver a keynote speech to a major gathering of over 150 business guests.

Mr Kenny will then meet a range of Irish and German businesses tomorrow while taking part in a round-table event and meetings with European think-tanks on foreign and economic policy issues.