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EU should prioritise concerns of small countries, says Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has urged Europe to prioritise the concerns of small countries which will be adversely affected by Brexit when the negotiations for Britain’s departure from the EU begin.

Mr Kenny participated in a mini-summit in the Hague on Friday with the prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the prime minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

“I came to the Hague to meet prime minister Rasmussen and prime minister Rutte because we have similar interests of a very common nature and we wanted those reflected in the ground rules being set out by the European Council, ” he said.

Mr Rasmussen highlighted the issue of the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland in his remarks after the three men met at the Catshuis, the Dutch prime minister’s official residence, on Friday morning.

“The fact that the UK intends to leave the Customs Union risks a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy and a lot of barriers to trade. And we will need to lead with those issues including the particular problem which Ireland will be confronted with,” Mr Rasmussen said.

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

‘Unified position’

Mr Rutte said the 27 European States should work “in consort and conjunction”, but added there had to be an understanding that some were facing more difficulties than others as a result of Brexit.

“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.

“A small issue in the eyes of one country might be a big issue in the mindset, the eyes of another.”

Calling for a “unified position”, he said it was in the interest of all countries involved that a united stance was maintained throughout the upcoming negotiations.

Mr Rutte said there was an…

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