Irish premier Enda Kenny has urged Britain to remain within the European Union.
During a visit to London for a series of engagements, including talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, Mr Kenny insisted Britain had much to gain from its membership.
“We see the British relationship with the EU as being a two-way relationship – Britain benefits from its membership of the EU, and the EU is better off with Britain as a leading member making a valued contribution,” he said.
Ireland is more than halfway through its six-month term with the EU presidency, and it also marks the 40th anniversary of both Ireland and Britain joining the EU.
Mr Kenny said while his country’s future was closely tied to Europe, its connection with Britain – its “nearest neighbours” – was stronger than ever.
The Taoiseach insisted both nations were like-minded on numerous European issues, such as the single market and trade.
He also vowed that Ireland would act impartially during negotiations on the controversial financial transactions tax. Ireland and Britain have both opted out of the tax, which is expected to raise up to €35 million (£30.5m) a year from the financial sector.