SDLP Statement following meeting with Prime Minister

protocol colum eastwood Boris Johnson

Speaking after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Hillsborough this afternoon, 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.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“We have had a robust meeting with Boris Johnson this afternoon.

“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 today 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.”

Font size