Brian Hayes MEP today (Friday) welcomed Taoiseach Enda Kenny's meeting with the Dutch and Danish Prime Ministers on Brexit issues and said that forging strong Brexit alliances will be crucial to Ireland's success in the negotiations.
Mr Hayes is in The Hague attending the 15th Norbert Schmelzer lecture, organised by the CDA, a Dutch sister party of Fine Gael at which the Taoiseach is keynote speaker.
Hayes warned that there will be Member States who want to punish the UK, especially given that the British government is taking a hard Brexit line. The MEP called for a strong counter balance to this view and said Ireland should take a leading role in rallying against this harmful course of action.
Speaking today, Hayes said, "What will be absolutely crucial is how we engage with small like-minded Member States. Brexit represents a high stakes diplomatic battle and a lot will depend on how strong our alliances are with the likes of the Baltics, the Nordics and the Benelux countries. They have been echoing similar messages in calling for a soft Brexit."
He added, "That is why today's engagement between the Taoiseach and his Dutch and Danish counterparts is so important - it is an opportunity to align our priorities at the highest level."