Northern Irish DUP says EU's Barnier needs to understand unionists' views

Northern Irish DUP says EU's Barnier needs to understand unionists' views

The Brexit talks are at risk of collapsing over the future of the Irish border, Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator said yesterday, writes The Times.During a visit to Ireland, Michel Barnier urged Theresa May to reconsider introducing a border in the Irish Sea.

Mr Barnier said it had been "very useful and very interesting" to meet them.

"All three of us should be maximising the opportunity when Michel Barnier is in our constituency".

"During his visit Michel Barnier heard the concerns of local stakeholders about the impact of Brexit and the prospect of the imposition of a hard border and the need for the north to secure special status within the European Union".

During his whirlwind tour of the city, Mr Barnier walked along Derry's historic walls and was shown around the Bogside, where the events of Bloody Sunday took place in 1972.

Asked why she thought they did not attend, Ms Anderson said the DUP would "not be too put out" if there was a harder border on the island of Ireland, something they may regard as a "job done", she suggested.

Mr Barnier said he was delighted to be in the "historic and vibrant" city of Londonderry, and added that he had already enjoyed a walk on the Peace Bridge.

"Throughout this visit Michel Barnier heard the clear message that people do not want a hard border, they want to see the Good Friday Agreement protected in all its parts and that do not want any reduction in our rights", she added.

"And for some of them, particularly their MPs, they may view that as a job done".

Last week, Mrs Dodds and Mr Nicholson issued a joint statement welcoming Mr Barnier's visit but expressed disappointment that it was announced by a Sinn Féin MP.

Mr Varadkar acknowledged some unionists were anxious that Brexit could be used to undermine Northern Ireland's union with Britain. She may wish to miss out the day in 1988 when her party's founder, the Rev Ian Paisley, displayed the extent of his cultural understanding by shouting "I renounce you as the Antichrist" during a 1988 speech to the European Parliament by Pope John Paul II about shared Christian values.

Writing in Tuesday's Belfast Telegraph, Mr Barnier said: "I am committed to finding such a solution that protects the Good Friday Agreement, north-south cooperation and the functioning of the all-island economy, while respecting the UK's constitutional order".

"The UK has made a decision to leave the European policies", he said, "but we can maintain this co-operation thanks to the Interreg programme and in my view thanks to the peace programme".

The EU chief negotiator was in the city to meet with business leaders.

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