06 Jul 2022

Foyle MP Eastwood slams Johnson for using North for his own interests

Colum Eastwood

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood: "The gulf between Boris Johnson’s actions over the last two years and his words this week is so great that it makes it impossible to trust the Prime Minister."

Foyle MP, Colum Eastwood, has accused British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, of using the North “to serve his own narrow political interests”.

SDLP leader Eastwood met the Prime Minister, along with leaders of the other parties that made up the Executive prior to this month's Assembly election, to discuss the NI Protocol and to try and have an operational government in the North working again.

Speaking after meeting in Hillsborough, the SDLP Leader said that issues surrounding the operation of the protocol should not blind political leaders to the immense crisis facing working people across all of our communities.

He said: “We have had a robust meeting with Boris Johnson. While I welcome his call for the resumption of power-sharing, the gulf between Boris Johnson’s actions over the last two years and his words this week is so great that it makes it impossible to trust the Prime Minister.

“He has recklessly used this place to serve his own narrow political interests and once again he is on the verge of overriding the interests of the majority of people here for his own ends.

“I accept and acknowledge that for some people, the operation of the protocol has posed a difficult and fundamental challenge to their identity. I regret that they feel isolated.

“It was my preference that no new borders emerged anywhere on these islands but Boris Johnson, cheered on by the DUP, opposed every effort to avoid new barriers.

“What I will not accept, however, is that tinkering with the protocol is more important than providing support to working families that can’t put food on the table and heat their home.

“It is not more important than transforming our health service so that people can get the treatment they need without waiting in agony.

“This farce cannot continue. People need and deserve the power of government working to address the challenges they face.

“It is time for the DUP to work with the rest of us to restore Stormont and get on with the job that people elected us all to do.”

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