Democratic Unionist Party MEP Diane Dodds and Ulster Unionist Party MEP Jim Nicholson have held a joint meeting in Brussels with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

This follows the refusal of both MEPs to meet Mr Barnier in the Guildhall in Derry on Tuesday due to what they described as scheduling issues.

Mr Barnier had extended an invitation to meet all three Northern Ireland MEPs in Derry, but in the end was only able to meet Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson.

This morning’s meeting was confirmed to RTÉ by a spokesman for the EU Task Force.

Last week, Ms Dodds and Mr Nicholson issued a joint statement welcoming Mr Barnier's visit but expressed disappointment that it had been announced by a Sinn Féin MP.

Ms Dodds said she had already committed to meetings in London and could not travel to Derry.

Ms Anderson at the time accused both MEPs of deliberately snubbing Mr Barnier.

According to a spokesman, Mr Barnier told the MEPs during a 45-minute meeting that he was open to examining alternatives, but underlined the need to have a legally operational backstop agreed and signed off in time for the October deadline for the Withdrawal Agreement.

The so-called backstop solution is regarded by the EU and the Irish government as a legally binding guarantee of no hard border by ensuring that Northern Ireland remains in the customs union and significant parts of the single market.