herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

There's no special Brexit deal for Ireland, Merkel tells Kenny

Angela Merkel and Enda Kenny. Photo: AFP/Getty
Angela Merkel and Enda Kenny. Photo: AFP/Getty

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declined to commit to making Ireland a 'special case' in the post-Brexit negotiations in a move that will come as a blow to the Government.

Ms Merkel said she is not prepared to issue any "guarantees" to the Irish Government, and insisted the concerns of all 27 EU member states will be treated equally at the negotiating table.

"It's difficult to give guarantees at this point of time," Ms Merkel said when asked to ensure Ireland will not be sidelined in the negotiations.

"We don't even have the position of the United Kingdom. We have to wait for Great Britain to take a stand and give us an idea of the type of relationship they are thinking about," she added.

Ms Merkel made the remarks at a joint press conference with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the German Chancellery in Berlin.

During a 40-minute meeting, Mr Kenny voiced concerns that Britain's decision to leave the EU could jeopardise the Common Travel Area and the Peace Process.

Ms Merkel did give a glimmer of hope in relation to the border with the North, emphasising that she recognises that the Common Travel Area has been in place since 1922.

But she noted that Ireland, like the UK, is not a member of the so-called Schengen area, which allows for mutual borders between member states.

"I cannot anticipate the outcome of the negotiations," she insisted.

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