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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

'Come in, I missed you' - Merkel gives Kenny Brexit boost in Berlin meeting

The German Chancellor acknowledged Ireland’s specific interest in Brexit negotiations.

Enda Kenny paid a visit to Germany today.
Enda Kenny paid a visit to Germany today.
Image: DPA/PA Images

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA Merkel promised to help Ireland protect its interests in Brexit negotiations as she met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Berlin today.

Kenny’s trip to Germany was his first European visit since the UK formally gave notice last week of its plans to leave the European Union.

The bloc’s biggest economy is a vital ally in any negotiations and as Merkel greeted Kenny today she could be heard say to him: “come in, I missed you.”

Inside as the two leaders gave statements to the press, RTÉ reports that Merkel acknowledged that Ireland has a specific interest in Brexit negotiations.

“We are all familiar with the situation of Ireland, and with the very, very important issues of war and peace,” she said.

As European partners we will try to help Ireland safeguard its interests.

PastedImage-90373 The Irish and German leaders meeting in Berlin today. Source: RTÉ Player

Speaking in Brussels in February, Kenny made clear that any Brexit deal must include a provision to allow Northern Ireland to rejoin the EU should reunification with the Republic ever happen.

Kenny has previously made the comparison of Irish reunification with that of German reunification and pointed out that, in that case East Germany, it did not have to apply to join the EU when it was absorbed into West Germany.

Speaking at today’s press briefing, Kenny said that any agreements with respect to Ireland must honour EU law.

“This is a political problem and we will have to be both creative and imaginative in dealing with it,” he said.

“Whatever is agreed of course Chancellor, will have to be compatible with European Union law. But we must not get lost in the technical detail at this stage and lose sight of the principal objective of maintaining peace.”

Read: Bertie was back in Leinster House today and he managed to take a dig at Sinn Féin >

Read: ‘You’re behaving like the mafia… no, gangsters’: Nigel Farage takes aim at EU >

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Rónán Duffy

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