Gregory Campbell attacks Barnier over lack of diplomacy

Gregory Campbell
Gregory Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has attacked Europe's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier for what he characterised as his lack of diplomacy when he visited Derry earlier this week.

"Monsieur Barnier was at the border last week, and I am afraid that his diplomatic skills were found wanting yet again," said Mr. Campbell.

Speaking in the British House of Commons, Mr. Campbell claimed Mr. Barnier and his colleagues should focus less on the problems Brexit will create in Ireland and worry more about the fiscal damage the UK's departure will do to the EU's balance sheets and the rise of the right across Europe.

The East Derry MP asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker, if he agreed "Monsieur Barnier should, in the intensive discussions that he is having, take some time to look at the massive hole that will be left in the EU budget after we leave and perhaps turn his mind to the political problems that there will be in Hungary, France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere, with the far right turning away from Europe, after he is done with ours?"

Mr. Walker replied: "The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point. We need to ensure that we progress the negotiations in the interests of the UK and have a strong, friendly partnership with the EU after we leave. That should be our focus, and issues relating to the Irish border are a key part of that engagement."