Tory border solutions range ‘from ridiculous to insulting’

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood (centre) has criticised the border proposals tabled by Tory leadership hopefuls, who include, clockwise from top left: Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood (centre) has criticised the border proposals tabled by Tory leadership hopefuls, who include, clockwise from top left: Sajid Javid, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has said that the proposed solutions to the Brexit border challenges made by the Tory Leadership hopefuls range from “the ridiculous to the insulting”.

The Foyle MLA said that fantasy technology and bluster are no substitute for the terms of the backstop.

He said: “Just when you think you’ve heard it all, another Tory Leadership hopeful blunders into the Brexit border debate with proposals that range from ridiculous to insulting.

“A number of challengers have made suggestions from bilateral negotiation with the Irish Government to resequencing withdrawal discussions to remove the border.

“While they may play well with the Tory base, these proposals amount to a substantive renegotiation which the EU has made clear is not up for discussion.”

“Mr Eastwood claimed one particular suggestion from Sajid Javid was however, “offensive”.

“The notion that Britain can slip Ireland £500m for our trouble and think we’ll agree... to say no more is crass and amateur. It solves absolutely nothing.

“Whoever the next British Prime Minister needs to get real very quickly. There is no deal on the table that doesn’t involve the backstop or remaining within the single market and customs union. The alternative is a crash out Brexit which would be a disaster for these islands.

“Playing to the Tory party gallery during a leadership challenge is all well and good but people on this island will not be taken for granted.”