Michel Barnier addressed both houses of the Irish Parliament on Thursday (May 11). Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier sought to reassure Ireland on Thursday (May 11) that their interests are shared in divorce talks with Britain and that he will work with Dublin to avoid a hard border returning to the island. With close trading links to Britain and the only land border with the United Kingdom, Ireland is widely considered as the European Union member with the most to lose when its bigger neighbour quits the bloc. "I want to reassure the Irish people in this negotiation Ireland's interests will be the Union interest. We are in this negotiation together and a united EU will be here for you," Barnier said in an address to both houses of the Irish parliament, adding that he did not want any aggressiveness in talks with the UK over the many thorny Brexit issues. Ireland wants to avoid the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic and a return to the violence of The Troubles, which saw 3,600 people killed. In negotiating guidelines agreed last month, EU leaders said the unique circumstances in Ireland will require flexible and imaginative solutions.