Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny calls for extended Brexit transition period for UK beyond 2019 in most in depth interview since he stepped down from office
October 25th 2017: Irish commercial law firm Matheson has filmed a Brexit interview with Enda Kenny TD, in Mr Kenny’s most in-depth interview since leaving the office of Taoiseach. In the interview, filmed this week in New York, the former Taoiseach says that that he does not think negotiations would be concluded by 2019, commenting that “Britain is expected to leave two years after it triggered its letter of intent to leave. And that’s by March of 2019. These discussions will not be concluded by 2019. Therefore, you need a transition period and in my view that transition period should be as long as is necessary to conclude an effective working agreement in the interests of everybody.”
"It’s not sufficient that Britain can say we’ll look for the best deal for Britain. There are 27 other countries on the other side of the table who have worked with Britain for many years who also want an effective working outcome to this", he says.

The Taoiseach, whose interview appears here, also says that in terms of timing, he hoped that there would be sufficient progress between now and year end, so that in the springtime a new round of discussions can be focused on the future relationship between Europe and the United Kingdom. “And I say that that’s very important because companies will start to make decisions in the spring about where they’re going to be in the next three to five years.”


Matheson's Managing Partner Michael Jackson, who also appears in the video, made a comparison between the Brexit transition period of two years, with EU norms for transition periods for the implementation of its own Directives. He says “Regardless of what agreement is reached, a two year transition period will be too short. Two years is the average transition time for a single EU directive that has to be implemented by companies. We’re talking about something that’s much bigger and much more unprecedented here. I personally believe it’s going to take anything up to five years to properly transition.”

The interview was conducted by Matheson Partner Liz Grace who earlier this year also conducted an interview with Lord Jonathan Hill, former EU Commissioner for financial services and Matheson’s managing partner, Michael Jackson. Lord Hill spoke at #FCSDublin2017, which was sponsored by Matheson.