17/01/2019

Brexit: SDLP Urge Parliament To Secure Backstop

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has written to both the Conservative and Labour Party leaders amid the ongoing Brexit chaos, urging them to uphold the backstop mechanism within the Withdrawal Agreement.

It comes in the wake of the meaningful vote on Tuesday 15 January, when Parliament voted to reject Prime Minister Theresa May's deal, which contained the controversial backstop provision to protect the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Foyle MLA called on Mrs May and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to uphold the mechanism "in the interests of the people of Northern Ireland".
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"The majority of people here, including business leaders, the agri-food sector and border communities, as well as many members of your own party, are agreed that short of no Brexit at all, the Backstop is vital in protecting our interests," he told Mr Corbyn.

"The SDLP have no interest in either inter or intra-party conflict in London. Regardless of the chaos and division in Westminster, the fact remains that there is no way to avoid a hard border in Ireland if Northern Ireland leaves the Customs Union and Single Market. That is why a Backstop is essential."

Mr Eastwood also told the Conservative Party leader: "On the 23 June 2016, the people of Northern Ireland expressed their clear wish to remain in the European Union; since that time their voice has either been misrepresented on the benches of Westminster or ignored altogether.

"Therefore, I am asking that you provide the people of Northern Ireland with a commitment that the British Government will not renege on the implementation of the Backstop."



(JG/CM)

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