Eastwood calls on British Government to extend transition period
The Foyle MP was speaking during questions to Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons this morning.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The dismissive attitude of successive British Government Ministers to the needs of people in Northern Ireland and to the reasonable requests of the European Union set a worrying tone for the Brexit negotiations. It is entirely legitimate that the EU should have a presence here to monitor the implementation of the Ireland protocol, indeed British officials previously welcomed such an approach.
“It’s difficult to see how people here can have faith in this government to implement the terms of the Ireland protocol when they appear incapable of putting the needs of the North ahead of their own self-interest. That’s why I have again called on the British Government to abandon its disastrous strategy of trying to manage a global pandemic and renegotiate relationships across this continent at the same time. Any sane person can see that it isn’t possible.
“If the Secretary of State is unwilling to make that call, the Executive must come together to request an extension. Regardless of your view on the rights or wrongs of Brexit, and I continue to believe it is a fundamental mistake, everyone can see that there is no capacity to secure a comprehensive outcome that will protect people, communities and businesses here. It would be a powerful sign of strength for our Executive to unite in the substantial common interest of people here.