SDLP tables Brexit amendment reserving right for Northern Ireland to rejoin EU

PUBLISHED: 15:55 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:56 06 January 2020

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood (left) and deputy leader Nichola Mallon speak to the media in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings Stormont. Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood (left) and deputy leader Nichola Mallon speak to the media in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings Stormont. Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The leader of the SDLP has tabled a series of amendments to protect Northern Ireland against Boris Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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SDLP leader Colum Eastwood wants to give Stormont a say on any post-Brexit trade deals taking place once the bill is passed.

Eastwood said the 13 amendments proposed would seek to protect the Good Friday Agreement and would establish a mitigation package that would provide assistance to those affected by Brexit.

It would also reserve "the ultimate right for Northern Ireland to remain or re-enter the European Union. People here must have the opportunity to reject a path that offers nothing but economic self harm and damages the progress we've made over twenty years."

He said: "Brexit is the most significant economic, constitutional and social challenge facing people on these islands. In December's election, people in Northern Ireland made their will clear again - we are not prepared to suffer economic ruin, the wholesale sell-off of our Health Service and declining food and environmental standards.

"Our people must not be trapped into a future we never voted for. It is right that we now have the power to shape our own path and protect our own interests."

The SDLP will be looking for cross-party support for the proposals from other MPs in the House of Commons.

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