Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson and DUP MEP Diane Dodds have said that the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, must hear views from across Northern Ireland when he visits next week.
In a joint statement the MEPs said:
“It is a welcome development to hear that Michel Barnier will visit Northern Ireland next week. As MEPs we have always been gladdened by the support for Northern Ireland within the EU institutions.
“However we are disappointed that, whether by accident or design, the European Commission has allowed the visit of Michel Barnier to be announced to the public by a Sinn Fein MP.
“The challenge for Mr Barnier now will be to demonstrate that he will hear views from right across Northern Ireland. Whilst visits to Londonderry, Newry and Dungannon will be useful, there are companies and representatives from right across Northern Ireland with views that should be heard in this process.
“Northern Ireland has unique challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit. We have consistently said that the voices of all communities should be heard. Only then will this be a worthwhile and productive visit by the EU’s chief negotiator and not a political stunt.”