SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has welcomed a
breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations and the guarantee of no hard border
on the island of Ireland.
The Mid Ulster MLA said, “The SDLP
will study this agreed text in detail over the course of today and we would
obviously add the caution that the Brexit negotiation still has a long way
“We welcome the guarantee that there
can be no hard border in Ireland - a guarantee which will mean and can only
mean continuing alignment with the European single market and customs union.
We fully acknowledge the work of the Irish Government and our diplomats in
achieving this guarantee. Last week SDLP delegates met with both diplomats
and politicians at the Dáil to discuss the the Brexit talks.
“People, communities and businesses in
this constituency will be better served by continuing open trade and free
movement across this island and between these islands.
“It appears the DUP tantrum has
achieved small changes in emphasis and language in terms of the
constitutional status. If emphasis and language is the price of progress for
avoiding a new border in Ireland – then so be it.
“Those of us interested in preventing
a hard border in Ireland and protecting our businesses and our people will
focus on the substance.
“More broadly, the prospect in the
text that Britain itself may continue its alignment with European markets is
to be welcomed and developed. Across the island of Ireland, nationalism has
been clear that we do not want borders or barriers on these islands, whether
they are North/South or East/West.
“If the Brexiteers are finally waking
up to the reality that imposing borders and barriers on trade and movement
will cause economic and political harm to all our people – then it may
represent a crucial turning point in the Brexit negotiations.
“Any solution could obviously work far
better if we have a functioning Executive and Assembly. That must now be the
question posed to every political party in Northern Ireland. Surely this is
the basis to resume talks to restore Stormont.