Eastwood: Taoiseach’s border comments underscore need for backstop

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has said that comments made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about checks on goods and live animals near the border underscore the need for a backstop to prevent the re-emergence of a hard border in Ireland.

Mr Eastwood said that Irish interests are being jeopardised at Westminster with “no concerted effort from our representatives” to intervene.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA. DER1719GS-019

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA. DER1719GS-019

He said: “Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has clearly laid out some of the immediate challenges border communities and businesses will face in the aftermath of a no-deal exit. It is uncomfortable listening for people who rely on frictionless travel and trade across this island.

“The warnings issued again underscore the critical need for a backstop to protect the interests of people, communities and businesses on this island.

“It is worth repeating that there is majority support for the withdrawal agreement and backstop in the Assembly. Yet our interests and our voice has been sidelined by a British Government intent on driving off the cliff edge and our own MPs who have facilitated this disaster or who will not act to prevent it. Either way, we now need to call time on it.”