Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has met with the UK Permanent Representative to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, as the UK Government prepares its negotiating position ahead of the triggering of Article 50 later this month.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Nicholson said:
“Over the weekend reports suggested that the Government would begin the formal process of entering into Brexit negotiations under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - however it has since become clear that this will happen later in the month.
“As the Government prepares its negotiating position in advance of these talks, I met with the UK Ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, in Strasbourg to again highlight the importance of striking the right deal, particularly for Northern Ireland which is of course the only part of the United Kingdom to share a land border with an EU Member State.
“With no functioning Executive, I fear there is a risk that Northern Ireland could lose its voice at the table. Indeed, even before the Executive collapsed it was evident that there was no coherent plan. I therefore welcome any opportunity to meet with senior representatives from the Government and also on the Brussels side, to make our voice heard.
“This was a positive exchange of views, and I was grateful for Mr Barrow’s assurances that the Government will be prioritising the concerns of Northern Ireland, particularly around border issues, in the negotiations.”