McDonald's remarks on Westminister are self serving and wrong

Issued 28 April 2018

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has described Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald’s remarks that Brexit could not be stopped or ameliorated at Westminster as 100% wrong.

Responding to remarks by the Sinn Fein leader quoted in the Ulster Herald, Deputy Howlin said:

“Mary Lou’s remarks are self-serving nonsense designed to justify Sinn Fáin’s failure to represent the people of Ireland where issues pertinent to our future wellbeing and prosperity are being determined.

"Theresa May’s Government is pursuing the most damaging Brexit possible with little regard for Ireland north or south. That Government is now hopelessly divided on key Brexit related issues, particularly the customs union issue, and is reeling from a series of self-inflicted wounds.

"The idea that Westminister does’t matter is absolutely wrong. There could very well be a majority of members opposed to the UK Government on this key measure.

"Alongside that, there is little comfort to be taken from the EU/UK negotiation process with the UK Government failing to come forward with any workable solution to the border issue to date and highly unlikely to do so by June.

"There is support in Westminster for positions less damaging to Ireland. The House of Lords has defeated the Government on four occasions now on the EU Withdrawal bill. Crucially Theresa May is running from a vote on a UK EU customs union which would go some way to address the issue.

"Those votes will take place in May. Were the SDLP to win the West Tyrone election there would be one more vote in the House of Commons for an issue that unites both part of Ireland.

"On this issue Westminister matters - a lot.