The Foyle MP said that decisions taken by politicians in England, and forced on people in Northern Ireland and Scotland, will have profound consequences for the future of people across these islands.
Said Mr Eastwood: “It is a matter of profound regret that Boris Johnson has decided to press ahead with his narrow plans to erode relationships with the European Union in the middle of the biggest public health crisis in living memory. We will all be diminished as a result of the toxic ideology that has led us to this point.
“The SDLP has always argued against the erection of new borders or new barriers anywhere across these islands.
“That’s why we, uniquely among parties in Northern Ireland, registered to campaign against Brexit.
“It’s why we proposed remaining in the European Single Market and the Customs Union.
“We have proposed solutions that will mitigate the damage caused by withdrawal from the EU because we understand the economic impact of new trade friction points but we also understand the psychological impact of new land or sea borders on people and communities. All of this was entirely avoidable.
“A No-Deal Brexit was the worst possible outcome but we should all be clear – even with a deal, this will be a traumatic economic and political event that will profoundly affect people, businesses and communities across our islands.
“Those seeking to portray this as an enviable outcome to mask their chaotic mismanagement of the last five years have some brass neck.
“The truth is that people in Northern Ireland have chosen a different future than those in England. We chose a future of partnership, cooperation and integration beyond borders.
“The stark choice now facing us is a future with a Conservative Government that has made clear its disdain for our hopes and aspirations or working to build a new Ireland, restoring our European citizenship and creating a fairer, more prosperous society.
“While the UK leaves one Union, the future of another has been called into very serious question.
“There should be no celebration in this moment for either side. As a party, the SDLP has a strong history of bringing our people and communities together.
“Our conviction that a new future is possible for the people of this island is growing and we are ready for a new, open and real conversation about what it looks like.”Tags: