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Clear thinking needed on Brexit, not ‘megaphone diplomacy’ - Jim Nicholson MEP

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has warned EU leaders against “megaphone diplomacy across the English Channel” in Brexit talks.

Speaking in the European Parliament with EU Council President Donald Tusk and Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Mr Nicholson also reminded them that neither Dublin nor Brussels politicians speak for Northern Ireland.

Jim Nicholson MEP said:

“Mr Barnier visited the border during his trip to the Republic of Ireland last week, and I took the opportunity in the European Parliament to welcome the fact that at least he is speaking frankly about the challenge all sides will face in finding a solution to the border issue.

“However, I again made clear to both Mr Barnier and EU Council President Donald Tusk that politicians in Dublin and Brussels will not decide the future of Northern Ireland. We are an integral part of the United Kingdom.

“So-called ‘special status’ arrangements would risk placing an internal border across the Irish Sea - diminishing the integrity of the Union and placing trade barriers between Northern Ireland and our largest single market for sales, which is Great Britain.

“I also worry about negotiations taking place on the airwaves in London and Brussels. I fear we are witnessing megaphone diplomacy across the English Channel.

“For both the United Kingdom and the European Union, we need a deep and comprehensive Brexit deal. This will require both parties sitting at the table, negotiating with cool heads and creative thinking.”

ENDS

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Ulster Unionists