Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

'Nonsense!' Brexit negotiator Verhofstadt RIPS into Boris over European Union 'split allegiance' claim

'Nonsense!' Brexit negotiator Verhofstadt RIPS into Boris over European Union 'split allegiance' claim

The comment came from the European Parliament's Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt who is addressing three Oireachtas Committees in a special sitting in the Dáil Chamber, in what has been described as a "milestone visit" by Clare's Junior Minister. The former Belgian prime minister stressed it was for the United Kingdom government to find a solution, saying the ideas from Whitehall to date were not acceptable.

"So we expect a solution for that and the first paper that has been produced was not convincing, so we think that the proposal was not really a proposal that avoids a hard border".

"Solidarity with Ireland and Irish citizens".

I have seldom heard such nonsense and hypocrisy from European Union fanatics, like Mr Verhofstadt, over the Irish border.

Verhofstadt told members of parliament that the European Parliament will never allow Ireland to suffer because of the British decision to leave the EU.

The MEP's visit to Ireland comes ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels next month when leaders of the 27 European Union states will decide whether sufficient progress has been made in the first phase of Brexit negotiations to progress talks to focus on future trading relations.

He admitted that Northern Ireland hasn't been on EU TV screens since the peace of 1998 but he also spoke of an epiphany he had while watching Northern Irish cows walk across the border.

The meeting comes ahead of a key speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit, which she will deliver in Italy tomorrow.

"That's a commitment that we have taken with the European Parliament, and it's a commitment that has been taken by the European Union as a whole".

Mr Verhofstadt visited the 220-acre dairy farm of the Hughes family, which straddles Co Armagh in Northern Ireland and Co Monaghan in the Republic, and which would be badly affected by re-imposition of a hard border.

"It was shame and disgrace today that we were meeting as individual parties and there wasn't an executive representing Northern Ireland in what is a crucial moment and crucial activity in how Northern Ireland progresses at this moment in time", he said.

He said borders "breed discrimination and hostility".

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