Ulster Unionist Party leader, Robin Swann MLA and Jim Nicholson MEP met with the EU`s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier in Brussels this morning (Tuesday). During two days in the City the UUP delegation also met with the UK and Irish Ambassadors, the Northern Ireland Executive Office and representatives of political groups in the European Parliament.
Robin Swann MLA said:
“Our meeting with Michel Barnier was a welcome opportunity to raise our concerns directly with the European Union’s chief negotiator. As the negotiations enter this critical phase it is important that he and his team hear all perspectives in Northern Ireland.
“We made it clear to him that unionists in Northern Ireland are deeply concerned by the proposed backstop and its implications for our place within the United Kingdom. The efforts to de-dramatise do not go to the heart of unionist concerns and we underlined to Michel Barnier why the outworkings of the backstop are so problematic for us.
“Those claiming to speak for a majority who voted remain would do well to remember that there are unionists who voted remain who are now deeply concerned that the backstop will diminish their place within the United Kingdom. These are legitimate concerns that should not be played down or dismissed.”