There will be no deal unless Ireland is satisfied
The UK caused the problem in Ireland and the UK must solve it, writes EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier
I am very much looking forward to spending the next two days in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is an opportunity for me to take stock with the Irish Government on the Brexit negotiations and meet those directly affected by the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union.
I negotiate on behalf of the 27 countries of the EU - and that means that I defend Ireland's interests. From very early on, it was clear to all in the EU that Ireland was in a unique situation and that a lot of imagination and creativity would be needed in order to mitigate the impact of the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union.
In this respect, part of Ireland's strength in these negotiations comes from being part of a wider family of EU countries. No matter how big or small a country is in the EU, we stand by each other through thick and thin.