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Home / World / Barnier denies Arlene Foster's claims of "aggression"

Barnier denies Arlene Foster's claims of "aggression"



  MICHEL BARNIER at the Island Brexit Forum

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Michel Barnier said Arlene Foster and the DUP are "door open"

The EU's Chief Negotiator has denied Arlene Foster's allegations of being "aggressive" in the Brexit talks against trade unionists in Northern Ireland.

It comes after the DUP leader said Michel Barnier did not understand the dispute and was not "an honest broker"

Mr. Barnier said he was not ready to "polemic" with Mrs. Foster.

On Monday, begins his two-day visit to Ireland, Michel Michel Barnier, who is associated with growing tensions in the country's future border between Britain and Ireland

He said at a press conference in Dundalk at the start of the Brexit Forum across the island that his "door is open" for Arlene Foster and the DUP.

He said he had not approached the negotiations in a "spirit of revenge".

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Media Caption DUP boss Arlene Foster: Brexit negotiations have become "aggressive" [19659012] He deplored Brexit and said he was determined to work with the UK to find a solution to the Irish border issue.

The Island Brexit Forum is hosted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his deputy Simon Coveney.

On Sunday, Barnier said the United Kingdom disagreed with its Irish border policy

But Ms Foster said she believed that Barnier did not understand the dispute and was "not an honest broker"

said that Mrs. Foster needed to respect her that its role is to negotiate on behalf of the EU and not to act as a mediator.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) reiterated that there must be "meaningful progress" at the border issue at the EU summit in June

Leo Varadkar said otherwise it would be difficult to reach the disbursement agreement by October receive.

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The two-day Brexit Forum began on Monday

In December, the United Kingdom and the EU reached a political agreement in which Britain pledged to protect North-South cooperation on the island of Ireland.

It also guaranteed that there would be no hard limit including physical infrastructure or controls

However, the EU's proposed backstop solution to avoid a hard limit – keeping Northern Ireland in the Customs Union after Brexit – stands continue to contradict what the British Government and the DUP accept.

Ms. Foster told BBC political scientist Laura Kuenssberg that the DUP would not accept that Northern Ireland is treated differently from the rest of the UK.

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Reuters

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Arlene Foster has warned Michel Barnier, the DUP, will not accept that Northern Ireland is treated differently from the rest of Britain

She said: "Michel Barnier tries to show himself as someone who cares very much about Northern Ireland, and if that is the case, he must hear the fact that we are part of the United Kingdom [and] The United Kingdom constitutionally, politically and economically

"So his suggestion that we are in a purely Irish regulatory scenario with a border with the Irish Sea does not work.

"It works constitutionally, politically, and certainly does not work from an economic point of view."

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Media Signature The Irish Border Bridge, where stakes are high

Mrs. Foster added "We tried to get him to understand the unionist position for the people of Northern Ireland, but he did not really react and I'm disappointed."

"I do not think he understands the wider unionist culture of Northern Ireland . "

Mr Barnier will meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Monday and also talk to business leaders on both sides of the Irish border during his trip.


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