The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has claimed the election of Boris Johnson as leader of the British Conservative Party is "a worrying step toward a hard no-deal Brexit and a hard border in Ireland".
The Foyle MLA was speaking after the former Mayor of London trounced his leadership rival, the current British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in the run off to become Tory leader, the results of which were announced on Tuesday.
He said: “Johnson has coasted into Downing street on a wave of Brexit bluff and bluster."
The Derry man said Mr. Johnston was deluded if he believed the European Union was willing to "sacrifice the interests of Ireland" to English nationalism's Brexit red lines.
Mr. Eastwood predicted it would not be long before he crashed into that "rocky reality".
“All parties in the North must now set our combined efforts to resisting the impulse of this administration to drive off the Brexit cliff edge.
"The fragile complexities of political and economic relationships across this island cannot be placed on the altar of British nativism. Our struggle for peace and economic normalisation has been too long and too hard to be sacrificed for this.”