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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader has urged the British Government to withdraw the clauses of the Internal Market Bill that would authorise a breach of international law and undermine the Ireland Protocol as a show of good faith as trade talks continue today.

The Foyle MP said that the Bill, due to be voted on by MPs later today, creates a toxic environment for trade talks and will do irreversible damage to efforts to secure a trade deal with the Biden-Harris administration.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“For weeks, the SDLP has been warning that the Internal Market Bill will irreversibly damage the prospects of a free trade deal with the United States, it will breach international law to the detriment of the people of Ireland and it represents an unacceptable power grab against devolution by the British Government. I am not surprised, however, that these serious arguments have failed to move the narrow agenda of this government.

“It is now very plainly in the government’s interest, however, to drop these clauses. We are weeks away from the end of the transition period, with severe economic damage predicted if trade talks conclude with no agreement. Boris Johnson has no cards left to play. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the negotiations, it’s that self-interest is his only motivation. Withdrawing these clauses would be an act of good faith that would dispel the toxic backdrop to trade negotiations and increase the space for agreement.

“SDLP MPs will vote against the Bill this evening. We will continue to act in the interests of people, communities and businesses in Northern Ireland.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom