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Taoiseach to announce leadership plans once Brexit guidelines agreed

21 Avril 2017

"It's not about that we fear that someone could hijack the negotiations, it's about making sure that we avoid something like that", said Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen at a mini-summit among the three countries in The Hague.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was today to meet his Irish and Danish counterparts as the three northern European countries grapple with the likely fallout from Britain's divorce from the EU.

Mr Rasmussen said the UK's intention to leave the Customs Union "risks a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy and a lot of barriers to trade".

"I have thanked both of them for their understanding of the particular issues that we have and that is reflected both in the document from the European Council and indeed from the European Parliament", he said.

He said he hoped "fair and pragmatic solutions" could be found in the course of the upcoming discussions.

He said: "I always congratulate people on many things".

"As 27 we have to recognise that some of us are impacted even more than some of the others in terms of direct economic threats that are coming because of the Brexit happening", Mr Rutte said.

The talks should focus initially on border issues and financial matters, he said.

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Mr Kenny again insisted that Ireland's place, "remains and will remain at the very heart of Europe".

Along with Mr Rutte and Mr Rasmussen, Mr Kenny said European states had to act as one.

Approval is needed from all 27 countries. Mr Kenny highlighted the Common Fisheries Policy as being "exceptionally complicated".

Mr Kenny said he had spoken to the British Prime Minister Theresa May following her decision to hold a snap general election in June - adding the "as a politician" he could understand her reasons for doing so.

The EU negotiating guidelines could be agreed at an EU council meeting on Saturday week and the Taoiseach said he will make his "intentions very clear after that".

"I can understand as a politician why the prime minister would decide to seek a mandate from the electorates of the United Kingdom to strengthen her position as the British prime minister in entering into negotiations for the Brexit exit and beyond of the European Union, " he said.

"Obviously it's going to cause quite a deal of angst I would think, particularly in Scotland and there will be a different political impetus from Northern Ireland out of this".

The three men would "discuss current European issues, including Brexit" as part of a series of meetings Rutte plans with various European countries to "gain a deep insight into areas of mutual interest".

Taoiseach to announce leadership plans once Brexit guidelines agreed