EU's Michel Barnier warns of Brexit 'cost' in address to Oireachtas

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet Michel Barnier when he visits Ireland this week

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet Michel Barnier when he visits Ireland this week

A spokesperson from Barnier's office confirmed that he will say that the European Union is "100 per cent aware" of Ireland's unique position in Europe.

For Brexit, emphatically driven by a cadre of long-standing Eurosceptic English Conservative MPs, is challenging the very survival of the United Kingdom, with Scotland engaged in an unprecedented constitutional confrontation with the London Government, and Dublin perturbed about the implications for Northern Ireland.

The tidal flow is running against them.

Mr Barnier said: "if we put things in the right order, if we negotiate with mutual respect, without any kind of aggressivity. if we are open to finding solutions, there is no reason why a strong Europe can not maintain a strong relationship with the United Kingdom".

Barnier will visit a dairy business on the Irish border on Friday to see first-hand the impact Brexit may have on local firms straddling the border. I will work with you to avoid a hard border.

The measures protected the single market, food safety and standards, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator added.

Barnier said the negotiations should be conducted "with mutual respect".

However, the Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) disagrees, saying he believes now is not the time for a vote in his address to Barnier.

But underlying the significance of the upcoming Brexit negotiations, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl on behalf of the Oireachtas issued an invitation to Mr Barnier to address both houses.

Ireland is wooing EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, hoping that special treatment for the Frenchman will help secure a good deal for the country in Brexit negotiations.

"Indeed, Michel Barnier is more aware of, and sensitive to, its dimensions than British government ministers - not least in terms of Strand 2 being deployed so that the North can be on a "lean to" basis with the South for the purposes of European Union constructs, programmes or particular policies".

'The sooner this will happen, the better.

Speaking in Ireland, Barnier said that some states, like the Republic, would be more dramatically affected than others, but stressed his desire to reach a deal with Britain. He praised the "remarkable preparatory work" the government had done ahead of the talks.

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