(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. won’t be allowed to pick and choose which aspects of the European Union it wants to keep as it prepares to leave the world’s biggest trade bloc, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said.
Brexit Secretary David Davis yesterday suggested that the U.K. would consider making contributions to the 28-nation union to secure the best possible access to the single market. Kenny responded in a Bloomberg Television interview with John Micklethwait in New York that when it comes to the freedom of movement “there will be no concession given by Europe in that regard.”
Kenny essentially shut down the notion that the U.K. had wiggle room to cut itself a better deal ahead of the formal start of negotiations slated to begin in March. Davis had suggested the U.K. continue to pay into the EU budget after leaving in order to keep market access.
“One of the fundamental principles of participating in the EU is that if you want access to the most developed market in the planet - the single market you must cater for those freedoms one of which is freedom of movement of people,” Kenny said.
He added it was “probably impossible” for Britain to leave the EU within the two year time frame envisaged in the Lisbon Treaty and that an additional transition period was likely.
Ireland is fielding a number of requests from firms exploring the possibility of moving operations from the U.K. to a location where they can still do business within the rest of the EU, Kenny said. Ireland is geographically close and there is no language barrier. While it’s competing with other countries for business, Ireland won’t cut its corporate tax rate from the current 12.5 percent, he said.