Live Irish Parliament - Michel Barnier Briefings

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Live Irish Parliament - Michel Barnier

Live coverage of the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier addressing a joint session of the Irish Houses of Parliament in Dublin.

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SPEAKS IN GAELIC. On behalf of myself I wish to welcome the both


houses to Michel Barnier, who is the chief negotiator of the task force


for the preparation and conduct for conduct of negotiations with the


yiepg. United Kingdom. I invite Mr Barnier to take his seat in the


chamber. SPEAKS IN FRENCH. The decision by


the United Kingdom last year to withdraw from the European Union


will have a profound effect on Europe and on its citizens. But it


also raises specific and important issues that are unique to Ireland.


For instance, concerns have been raised about its impact on Northern


Ireland and the peace process. As well as its impact on the common


travel area between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Since the formal


notify xags -- notification of the UK's intention to withdraw,


preparations for the start of negotiations have intensified. As


members will be aware. The European council agreed guidelines for the


first phase of negotiations on 29th April this year and last week the


European Commission published its draft negotiating directives. Our


exchange of views therefore is timely and we hope that it will


contribute to the preparations for the negotiations. Let me also say


that I firmly believe that today's sitting demonstrates how national


Parliaments can contribute effectively to public debate on


matters of concern to the union. Which of course is one of principles


of article 12 of the treaty. We are conscious of the very challenging


road ahead. We wish you and your task force well in your work and it


is our hope that an agreement can be reached which protects the


principles of the union and the interests of the member states,


whilst maintaining a strong relationship with the United


Kingdom. And with those few thoughts, may I invite you to


address our sitting? Dear speakers, thank you very much


Mr Speaker for your kind words and congratulations for your perfect


French! Dear speakers, Taoiseach, members of the Houses, I'm very


happy and honoured to address both Houses and to greet you as


representative of the people of Ireland in all your political


diversity. I take this honour as a responsibility. The responsibility


to listen to all those who will be affected by the decision of UK to


leave the European Union. The responsibility to listen to your


concerns, build our positions together, negotiate in our common