Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on European Affairs, Sean Haughey TD has welcomed comments made by Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator.

Speaking to the European Parliament earlier today, the former Belgian Prime Minister and MEP affirmed that a hard Brexit would be a disaster for Ireland.

“I welcome the fact that Guy Verhofstadt’s recognises that a hard Brexit would be a disaster for Ireland. It is crucial that European figures publicly acknowledge that a return to a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would have serious negative political and economic consequences,” added Deputy Haughey.

“The full impact of Britain’s exit ultimately will depend on the terms and conditions which will be agreed. However, I am pleased that there appears to be a clear knowledge and understanding among our European counterparts of Ireland’s unique and special position in relation to Brexit.

“While Ireland remains firmly committed to the EU it is imperative that our distinct concerns are addressed throughout the negotiations ahead.

“Mr Verhofstadt’s remarks and other recent comments made by Michel Barnier are most welcome but we must now ensure that such positive sentiments are reflected in the final agreement.”