Last week in Strasbourg, following Theresa May’s speech, the Irish MEPs in Brussels met with Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator.
The meeting was hugely beneficial, in that each of us got the opportunity to voice our concerns. Monsieur Barnier assured us that he is very aware that Ireland needs to be considered as a special case during the negotiations and that view is understood and respected right across the parliament.
Monsieur Barnier also said that there will be no punishment, no revenge or no threat against the UK, but he also stressed that there would be no naivety on our part. He wants to get a good deal for remaining twenty seven member states, and that deal should contain a good arrangement for Ireland.
Finally, Monsieur Barnier said that once Theresa May has triggered Article 50 and the Brexit process has begun, he would be happy to regularly meet with Irish MEPs.