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24 Jan 2022

Eastwood: DUP "foolish" to cosy up to Brexiteers again

Eastwood: DUP "foolish" to cosy up to Brexiteers again

SDLP leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood: "The only outcome to Jeffrey Donaldson’s foolish crusade is more uncertainty and chaos at a time when we just can’t afford it."

Foyle MP, Colum Eastwood has said the DUP strategy of cosying up to British Government Ministers on Brexit is “foolish”.

The SDLP leader was speaking after Foreign Secretary, and Britain's main Brexit negotiator, Liz Truss said she would not accept a deal which means goods from Britain being checked as they enter the North and would be prepared to invoke Article 16 to suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol.

However, Mr Eastwood stated Ms Truss' threat was another in a series of hollow statements from British Government Ministers who the DUP had taken at their word only to be let down on matters Brexit.

The Foyle MP said that meetings with senior Tories and threats to trigger Article 16 are like groundhog day for people in Northern Ireland who want political leaders focused on our crumbling health service, the crisis in our schools and the spiraling cost of living.

He said: “It really is incredible that with our health service under immense strain, our schools facing a Covid crisis and households across the North facing spiraling energy costs that the DUP has refused to abandon it’s disastrous campaign of threatening the institutions of government over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“Instead of addressing the real priorities that people are concerned about – getting the surgery they need, protecting jobs in their communities, providing a warm home for their family – the DUP is once again chasing influence with Tories at Westminster who will use them when it’s convenient and then dump them just as quickly.

“They haven’t learned a thing from their last ugly break up with that party.

“It is like groundhog day for people in Northern Ireland who want political leaders focused on the urgent priorities facing us.

“The only outcome to Jeffrey Donaldson’s foolish crusade is more uncertainty and chaos at a time when we just can’t afford it.

“Parties that are serious about government should be seeking to work together to improve the lives of people in our communities.

“Instead we have establishment parties in a toxic race to see who can bring the government down first to meet their own selfish needs. People are sick of it.”

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