Northern Ireland appears an afterthought to the Tories, suggests Keir Starmer

PUBLISHED: 11:04 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 July 2020

Keir Starmer at PMQs in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament.

Keir Starmer at PMQs in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK Parliament.

HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

The Conservatives are overlooking Northern Ireland in both the coronavirus response and with Brexit, Labour’s Keir Starmer has said.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Writing for the Belfast Telegraph, Starmer and shadow secretary of state Louise Haigh have claimed that the UK government has failed to grasp the challenges facing Northern Ireland during the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “As we move out of this crisis, rejuvenating Northern Ireland’s economy will warrant particular attention if the full promise of peace is to be realised,” they write.

“Northern Ireland shouldn’t be overlooked in Westminster - something Labour recognised in office but which the Conservatives have failed to grasp time and again.”

And the pair pointed to the Brexit negotiations as an example of how it was being overlooked.


Have your say

Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.


They explained: “Businesses are crying out for detail on what the new arrangements will look like and are desperate to make it work.

You may also want to watch:

“But with 27 weeks until the border changes come into force, very little is known.

“A lack of detail and engagement from senior ministers is not wise at any time, but in the middle of an economic crisis it is irresponsible. Northern Ireland must not be an afterthought.

“It’s time ministers come clean about the scale of the checks they spent so long denying would ever be implemented at all.”

Starmer and Haigh added that for the sake of peace, politicians need to listen to Northern Irish communities and to demonstrate a process towards prosperity.

They said: “Too often in recent years ministers have let communities here down. With trust fragile and huge challenges facing Northern Ireland, the value of an honest broker and partner is needed now more than ever.

“As Mo Mowlam said, ‘It’s the real life of people that needs changing.’

“The future that communities here deserve must emerge out of this crisis.

“The lives of ordinary people must - again - be permanently changed for the better.”

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.