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Irish PM set to meet Guy Verhofstadt in Dublin

Irish PM set to meet Guy Verhofstadt in Dublin”

His trip also includes a visit to Irish border communities that harbour concerns about the impact of Brexit, and a stop in Dublin to meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and address a special joint sitting of a number of Irish parliamentary committees.

The outspoken Verhofstadt, who is now in Stormont, said: "The resurrection of the border problem is the effect of the decision of Britain to leave the union, so it is their responsibility to come forward with solutions".

On Wednesday, Mr Verhofstadt visited Northern Ireland and met political leaders at Stormont.

Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland's biggest party, the DUP, which supported Brexit, said that she had reiterated her commitment to delivering a "seamless land border with the Irish Republic" and welcomed Mr Verhofstadt's visit as "further reflection of this widespread desire to give our specific circumstances clear priority".

Mr Verhofstadt also clarified that anyone in Northern Ireland who has an Irish passport will remain a full European Union citizen after Brext.

Speaking to the Press Association in Belfast, Mr Verhofstadt said a "unique solution" was needed to avoid a hard border.

Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said the proposals are "unacceptable".

The onus on finding a workable solution to the border problem post-Brexit remains firmly with Britain, a key European Union figure has insisted.

Irish PM set to meet Guy Verhofstadt in Dublin

Mr Verhofstadt said: "We all know this unique solution has to be proposed by the United Kingdom side, because the problem is a outcome of the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union".

"For the moment we don't see a workable solution being put forward by the United Kingdom government".

If the United Kingdom as a whole left the customs union and single market but Northern Ireland stayed in, it would create major divisions between the province and mainland Britain.

"It is caused by a decision of the UK Government and of Great Britain as a whole to leave the European Union - it is a effect of their decision to leave the European Union so it is normal that we are asking from the UK side a solution to that and I think it will need to be a unique solution".

"Whether it be in terms of transition or future trade relations with those in the single market, Northern Ireland must be treated in the same fashion as the rest of the United Kingdom".

While the Parliament does not take part in the Brexit negotiations, it has to approve any final deal between the European Union and the U.K. Verhofstadt has threatened to veto any Brexit deal without satisfactory provisions for citizens' rights, an issue yet to be resolved in the negotiations.

UUP leader Robin Swann said the lack of a Stormont executive was harming the region at a crucial time.



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