Speaking from Westminster today, the newly elected Foyle MP said: “At a time when people, businesses and communities across these islands want to see political leaders maximising the opportunity for agreement to defend the interests of those we represent, it is deeply irresponsible for Boris Johnson to seek to squeeze the negotiating timeframe by legislating against an extension to the transition period.
“The need for considered negotiation has been supplanted by political chest-beating that won’t protect workers’ rights, environmental standards or small businesses in Northern Ireland from the impact of a no-trade deal exit.
“The truth is that over the last few weeks, Johnson has demonstrated that he has no idea what he negotiated in the Northern Ireland Protocol.
“His bluff and bluster has yet to be tempered by the realisation that businesses here trading with Britain, and vice versa, will face substantial barriers that will cost jobs.
“The reported changes to the Withdrawal Agreement to be tabled this week are deeply concerning.
“The SDLP will be holding a number of engagements with the SNP, the Labour Party, Plaid Cymru and others to present robust opposition to these plans.
“We committed to the people we represent that we would use our influences and our votes to oppose Boris Johnson. We’ll seek to maximise that in the days ahead,” added Mr Eastwood.