The leader of Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), Colum Eastwood MLA, has written to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to urge him to resist a hard Brexit and to maintain “full Single Market and Customs Union access”.
Mr Eastwood, who represents Foyle in the Northern Ireland Assembly, warns that Brexit has the potential to “dismantle” the peace process in Ireland.
His warning comes on the day the Labour Shadow Cabinet Brexit subcommittee are meeting to decide the party’s attitude to Brexit.
Commenting, Lord Hain, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“Colum Eastwood of our sister party, the SDLP, is right to warn of the dangers Brexit poses to the Northern Ireland peace process and to urge Labour to do all it can to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“As Labour’s Brexit subcommittee meets, the issue of Ireland, and protecting the peace process, must be to the forefront of discussion.
“Labour must stand firmly behind the agreements between the British and Irish governments and the Northern Ireland parties on which the peace process rests. Already Brextremists on the Conservative benches are calling for these to be torn up precisely because they stand in the way of a hard Brexit.
“Labour must lead the resistance any moves to a hard border and to insist that Theresa May stands up to the extremists in her party who insist on dragging her ever further to the right.”
Notes to editors
More details on Mr Eastwood’s letter can be read here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-43111710