Michel Barnier: 'We are not asking for any border' in Ireland

The chief Brexit negotiator says Europe is not calling for a border to be put in place in Ireland.

Mr Barnier has been negotiating with the United Kingdom on behalf of the European Commission.

"Let me be clear – we are not asking for any border between Northern Ireland and any other part of the UK," he said.

We must de-dramatize the backstop. We’ll need to clarify how and where these controls need to be done.

"These are only technical controls on goods, no more no less."

Speaking today at the IIEA Brussels, he added: “Time is short. We need to have workable and realistic proposals.

"We await the UK White Paper, which is coming next week. My objective has always been to find an agreement with the UK, not against the UK.”

Mr Barnier said Europe will not disrespect the integrity of the Single Market.

The Single Market is our main economic public good. We will not damage it. We will not reverse what we achieved with the UK.

"We must find solutions that respect the integrity of the Single Market. We are ready to adapt our proposal, should the UK’s redlines change.

"Our objective has always been to find a solution that works for us and the UK, not against the UK."

Related Articles

May allies distance themselves from new referendum reports

Bertie Ahern: 'We can't give an inch' on backstop

May launches stinging attack on Blair over referendum call

Hunt says UK would ‘flourish and prosper’ even without Brexit deal

More in this Section

Two men wearing hoods and carrying a hammer break into house in Down

Coast Guard rescues woman who suffered leg injury in Howth

Arrested humanitarian volunteer from Ireland reunited with mother for Christmas

Timeframe for abortion services introduction unrealistic, says leading foetal medicine doctor


Lindsay Woods: At a time of year when the pace is frenzied and days are full of school plays and deadlines, the chance to break from routine is a welcome one

On the red carpet: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and Cheryl

Raise a glass to Christmas festivities

The best festive desserts to try out this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner