TEHRAN (Reuters) – Ireland’s prime minister said Brexit was a wake up call for the Irish economy and that there were plans to “rebuild” it if the EU fails to take a stronger role in the world.
“We must respond to the Brexit shock by looking to the future and re-establishing ourselves as a global leader in a new era,” Leo Varadkar said at a news conference on Thursday.
“The EU must take a more active role in ensuring that the Irish Economy is protected from the negative effects of Brexit.”
In a speech on Thursday, the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, urged EU member states to help Ireland avoid the economic damage caused by Brexit, saying a post-Brexit world was a world that needed stability.
“Europe has made it clear that it is ready to play a leading role in facilitating the creation of a European framework for growth and prosperity,” Mogherinis said.
She said EU leaders would also need to find ways to help the Irish government “to maintain the stability of our economy”.
Ireland, which last year voted to leave the European Economic Area, has been hit hard by a collapse in oil prices and fears that the bloc will no longer offer financial aid to the country, which has been mired in recession since the 2008-09 financial crisis.
Varadkar has said he has already outlined his plan to revive the economy.
“There is a plan to rebuild Ireland as a fully-fledged economic powerhouse, which is a clear indicator of the will to make our country the most competitive, competitive and efficient country in Europe,” he said.
“I believe this is a message that the people of Ireland can see coming through their daily lives.”
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Peter Graff)