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Second round of Article 50 negotiations with the UK

Speaking points by Michel Barnier at the press conference following the second round of Article 50 negotiations with the UK.

Good afternoon to all of you,

Thank for your patience which is a critical virtue for any negotiation.

Ladies and gentlemen, David and I and our teams have just finished a few minutes ago the second round of negotiations.

In our first round in June we agreed on the organisation of the negotiations.

Our second round, which began on Monday, was about the presentation of our respective positions.

Our objective was to start working on substance and also to continue building trust between us.

I said last week that I wanted to identify the points where we agree and the points where we disagree.

This was possible this week for the issues on which there was a clear British position.

On Ireland, we had a first discussion on the impact of Brexit on two key subjects: the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area.

We agree that the important issue of the Good Friday Agreement, in all its dimensions, requires more detailed discussions. In particular, more work needs to be done to protect North-South cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Today, that cooperation is embedded in the common framework of EU law and EU policies.

We need to better understand how the UK intends on ensuring the continuation of this cooperation after Brexit.

We also agreed that the UK should clarify in the next session how it intends on maintaining the Common Travel Area after leaving the EU.


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