Irish premier asks for Liz Truss’s successor be selected quickly


Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Thu, 20 October 2022 at 4:13 pm

The Irish premier has asked that a new British Prime Minister be selected quickly in order to bring about stability in the wake of Liz Truss’s resignation.

In recent days and weeks, Irish ministers had emphasised how Ireland is closely linked to the UK economy and the need for stability ahead of what is expected to be a difficult winter.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin told reporters in Brussels that “we would like to see the UK system, within its capacity, to be in a position to have a successor selected as quickly as possible”.

Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he was monitoring what effect the latest developments might have on the Irish economy, but that it had no impact as of yet.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe publishes the Finance Bill 2022
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (Brian Lawless/PA)

The resignation of Ms Truss has raised concerns about the progress that had been made on reaching a breakthrough on the Northern Ireland protocol, and on closer relations between the British and Irish governments.

In a statement, Mr Martin said that agreement on the protocol was “ever more urgent” now and that it was “vital” to maintain a close British-Irish relationship.

He said: “Working together to protect the gains of the Good Friday Agreement and to support peace and stability in Northern Ireland continue to be vital responsibilities for the British and Irish Governments, particularly now in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.

“Substantive EU-UK engagement to reach agreement on outstanding issues around implementation of the Protocol is ever more urgent.

“Britain is Ireland’s closest neighbour and a relationship of partnership between the British and Irish Governments is vital for peace and prosperity on these islands. I remain committed to working with the British Government in this spirit.”

Mr Martin conveyed his best wishes Ms Truss and her family.

Speaking minutes after Truss announced her recognition, Mr Donohoe said that he hoped the engagement on the future of the Northern Ireland Protocol “can continue” despite dramatic political developments at Westminster.

“The political and the economic stability of the United Kingdom is a vital ingredient in the economic prospects of Ireland and indeed of Europe,” the President of the Eurogroup told reporters in Dublin.

“It’s very important to us from a financial market perspective, but it’s very tangibly important to us as a key destination for the sale of Irish goods and Irish services.

“We, at the moment, don’t see any indication that the latest developments in the United Kingdom are having an impact on the performance of Irish businesses, but it is something that we are monitoring.”

He said that Ireland remained “a close friend” of the UK, even through “tough and challenging moments” during the Brexit process.

“The Irish government believes that a very important contribution to deeper economic and political stability in the time ahead would be a successful completion of the process that is under way with regards to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“And if an agreement can be reached, it would be a really strong foundation to a far stronger and more positive-looking relationship between the European Union, the United Kingdom and Ireland,” he said.

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