Unionist Leaders In Brussels For Brexit Talks

Leaders from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) are in Brussels to hold Brexit talks with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster and UUP Leader Robin Swann have arrived in Brussels for a meeting with Mr Barnier later today, Tuesday, 09 October.

Both parties have spoken out in recent weeks against borders being placed between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the possibility of an Irish Sea border.

Speaking on View from Stormont, DUP's Nigel Dodds said Northern Ireland must be treated the same as the rest of the UK.
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"We want to see a deal that preserves an open border on the island of Ireland between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic," Mr Dodds said.

"Of course we have many differences already and there’s an open border so we don’t think that should be a problem.

"The principle, and our red line, is that the whole of the United Kingdom is treated the same."

Ahead of today's meeting, Mr Swann said it was vital the voice of unionism be heard in this critical phase of Brexit negotiations.

Mr Barnier recently called for "less drama" over the so-called Brexit backstop regarding the Irish border, and met with four other political parties from Northern Ireland last Friday.

Following their meeting with Mr Barnier last week, Sinn Fein and the SDLP said they rejected the possibility of Stormont having a say over what kind of backstop may emerge if there is a no-deal Brexit.


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