Derry MP Colum Eastwood demands EU office and Brexit extension and slams 'dismissive attitude' of some British cabinet ministers

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Colum Eastwood has slammed what he has described as the 'dismissive attitude' of some in the British Government to the needs of people in Derry.

Speaking during questions to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis in the House of Commons this morning, the Foyle MP called for an extension of the Brexit transition period and for the European Union to be allowed to establish a base in Belfast during this time.

The SDLP leader said it was clear to everyone that Brussels and London would be unable to negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement by the end of June and said an extension was needed to allow enough time to secure a comprehensive outcome that will protect people, communities and businesses in the north.

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“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.

Colum Eastwood.Colum Eastwood.
Colum Eastwood.

“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," he said.

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