Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has used the official curtain raiser for his country’s EU presidency to urge the UK not to loosen its ties with Europe.
He was speaking during a press conference with his deputy, Eamon Gilmore, and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
Hours after David Cameron had told parliament he wanted to alter Britain’s relationship with the EU, Kenny urged the British Prime Minister to stay inside the bloc.
“Britain is an essential part of the European Union and has played a fundamentally important role in the development of the single market which is very important for British business and British good and to the British people,” Kenny told journalists.
The Taoiseach also downplayed talk from Downing Street of trying to repatriate powers from the EU. Kenny said reopening treaty negotiations would “open the floodgates” to other member states seeking similar concessions.
British PM Cameron is set for another clash with Brussels at the next EU budget talks, which are expected to be held in February.