Enda Kenny and Theresa May in Brussels for talks as Brexit looms

EU summit comes ahead of the launch of new tax avoidance proposals next week

Enda Kenny and Theresa May in Brussels for talks as Brexit looms

British PM Theresa May meets Taoiseach Enda Kenny at 10 Downing Street in July | Photo: RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is travelling to Brussels today to join heads of state and government at an EU summit.

It will be UK Prime Minister Theresa May's first time attending a meeting of the European Council.

Mrs May will update EU leaders about tentative Brexit plans, but the agenda does not allow for any lengthy discussions on the matter.

Sources say there is sympathy among the group for concerns expressed by the Irish government.

However, Mr Kenny is unlikely to make any direct plea for Ireland to be treated as a special case at this point.

The major priority for the two days is the Canada trade deal, which has been the subject of years of negotiation. CETA aims to abolish 98% of tariffs between the EU and Canada.

Sources say it will be difficult for the EU to strike a trade agreement with Britain if a deal cannot be reached with Canada.

It comes ahead of the launch of new proposals to tackle tax avoidance, which will be announced by the European Commission next week. 

The Irish Independent reports that the plans include a proposed ban on transfer pricing, which allows big companies like Apple to cut bills by shifting profits through low-tax countries.

Ireland and others have so far vetoed all attempts to introduce a common tax rate in Europe.