TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has called on Irish people living in Britain to vote to remain within the European Union.
David Cameron has pledged to call an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017.
Speaking to The Irish Post at the Fine Gael London Dinner on Friday, Mr Kenny said that he would be making his position on the possibility of a "Brexit" clear when he addresses the Confederation of British Industry later today.
He said: “The European Union will be better off with Britain remaining a member.”
“It’s really serious for our country that Britain remains a member.
"We can’t contemplate otherwise because that would lead to all kinds of things like border controls, lack of trade and difficulties with energy supply.”
What the Taoiseach had to say...
This sentiment was echoed by the Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, who said that a Brexit would have “huge implications” for Ireland that would arrest Irish economic growth.
When talking about Irish people living in Britain, Mr Kenny said: “They should vote for Britain to stay in the European Union.”
The statement comes after the Economic and Social Research Institute think-tank, based in Dublin, published a report warning that if Britain's forthcoming referendum resulted in a Brexit, Anglo-Irish trade could be cut by a fifth.
Mr Kenny said that while he would be supportive of Britain staying in the EU, help in the negotiation of better terms for Britain from the EU would depend on the nature of the proposals Prime Minister David Cameron was putting forward.
“We will support Britain where we can - to a point. We have national interests ourselves we must protect,” he said.