The EU's chief Brexit negotiator will informally speak to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney during his visit to Dublin this weekend.

Michel Barnier and his sons are in Dublin for the Six Nations Ireland versus France rugby match.

There are no formal talks planned but there is the possibility of a social gathering taking place tonight, but this has not been confirmed. 

However, the men will definitely meet at the rugby game tomorrow.

Early last week there had been doubts about Mr Barnier's ability to travel to Dublin this weekend, amid hopes of a breakthrough in those talks between the UK and the EU. 

But, with little sign of momentum building in the negotiating process, Mr Barnier was able to travel to Ireland for the game. 

While relaxed informal talks between Mr Barnier and Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney will take place, the backdrop is not one of optimism that progress can be made swiftly ahead of the vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal in Westminster on Tuesday.