Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, is expected to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on EU Affairs in September.

RTÉ News understands Mr Verhofstadt will make a two-day trip to Ireland on 20 and 21 September.

It is expected he will visit Belfast on Wednesday 20 September and travel south to Dublin the following day.

The outspoken leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament has been invited to address the Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee.

He is also expected to meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Government Buildings.

Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Brexit negotiator, addressed a joint sitting of the Dáil and Seanad in May.

It is not clear if a similar arrangement will be put in place for Mr Verhofstadt's visit.

The former Belgian prime minister has previously said he recognises the special nature of relations between Ireland and the UK "economically and politically".

He said: "A return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic would be politically a big problem and also economically a disaster."

Fianna Fáil Senator Terry Leyden has said that Mr Verhofstadt should be invited to address the Seanad during his visit.

He said: "I think it would be appropriate that Guy Verhofstadt, this very important member of the EP, would be given the opportunity to address the Seanad when he visits here on September 21st."

Seanad leader, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, said a motion on the matter will be discussed in the Seanad tomorrow.