Brexit guidelines fully reflect Irish unique concerns: Irish PM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-30 07:01:32|Editor: xuxin
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DUBLIN, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The guidelines on Brexit negotiations with Britain, adopted at an EU summit in Brussels, fully reflect Irish unique concerns, according to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Saturday.

"I am satisfied that the guidelines fully reflect our unique concerns -- to support and protect the achievements, benefits and commitments of the Peace Process, to avoid a hard border, and to protect the Common Travel Area," Kenny said in a statement.

The Common Travel Area is an open borders area comprising the Republic of Ireland and Britain.

Britain's withdrawal from the EU would effectively make the border between the Republic of Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland an external EU border. But both the Irish and British governments have stated that they do not wish for a hard border between the two countries, taking into account the historical and social sensitivities that permeate the Island of Ireland.

At Saturday's summit, the leaders of the 27 remaining EU countries adopted unanimously the Brexit guidelines.

In the statement, Kenny hailed the outcome of the summit as "a huge endorsement" of the government's approach to the Brexit negotiations and a clear recognition of the unique and specific challenges facing Ireland.

But the Irish prime minister said Saturday's summit is only the beginning and that a lot of work remains to be done.

"Discussions will now begin on the more detailed directives for the negotiations which will be adopted later next month. And looking ahead, the focus will move quickly to economic and trade issues," he said.

"It marks the beginning, rather than the end, of what will be a long and complex process," he added.

According to the Brexit guidelines, throughout the negotiations the EU will maintain unity and act as one with the aim of reaching a result that is "fair and equitable for all member states and in the interest of its citizens."

While working hard to achieve that outcome, the EU "will prepare itself to be able to handle the situation also if the negotiations were to fail," the guidelines showed.

The EU says it will will update the guidelines on Brexit in course of negotiations as necessary.

The two-year timeframe of Brexit negotiations set out in Article 50 ends on March 29 of 2019.