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Referendum will inevitably change Europe, says Taoiseach

By Caroline Crawford and Colm Kelpie

Published 21/06/2016

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he believes the Remain side will win in Thursday’s Brexit vote but warned that Europe would be “changed forever” regardless of the outcome.

Mr Kenny said he believed the outcome of the vote on whether to leave or remain in the EU would all depend on turnout, whether people were sufficiently motivated to vote and whether they were “very clear on what they were voting for”.

He admitted he was concerned about the result but said he was also hopeful. But he described the vote as “the most fundamental decision of the last 50 years” and said it would have a lasting impact on Europe, regardless of the outcome.

“I think that either way Europe is going to be changed forever as a consequence of this particular vote.”

Mr Kenny reiterated his concerns about the impact a Leave vote would have on the Republic of Ireland.

“We’ve pointed out from our point of view our vested interest to the Irish community in Britain and Northern Ireland who have the opportunity to vote in this referendum and we say unashamedly that they should vote to remain, to continue to be a foremost member of the EU.

“I pointed out what our inevitable difficulties are if the decision is the other way, where you would have a European border from Derry to Dundalk and not just a border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And also clearly what has been pointed out by business of the difficulties for companies exporting through Britain and to Britain from Ireland,” he said.

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