LONDON >> Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that his country and Ireland should seize the opportunity to be open and progressive as their big neighbors, the U.S. and Britain, turn inward.
Trudeau said there are “tremendous opportunities for countries like Canada and Ireland at a time where perhaps our significant allies and trading partners … are turning inward or at least turning in a different direction.”
He said the two nations should “make the pitch that Canada and Ireland are places that are exciting and open to the world in a positive, progressive way.”
Trudeau spoke after meeting Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin. Both leaders face tricky times with their neighbors — the U.S. under President Donald Trump and the U.K. as it leaves the European Union.
The two politicians are among a crop of young, centrist Western leaders seen by some as a counterweight to the populism that fueled Trump’s election victory and Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Varadkar said “more and more people will want to come to Ireland” because of Brexit. Dublin hopes to lure financial institutions from London after Britain quits the bloc.
Varadkar wore colorful maple leaf socks for Tuesday’s meeting, in a salute to Trudeau’s fondness for bold, statement ankle-wear.
Trudeau travels to Scotland Wednesday to meet Queen Elizabeth II, and is due to attend a summit of G-20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany on Friday and Saturday.