Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

New PM’s ‘bullish ranting’ won’t solve Brexit impasse: McNulty

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty says new British Prime Minister Boris Johnston will soon have to confront the reality that the Brexit impasse will not be resolved with a bullish cock-a-hoop attitude.

Mr McNulty says that with the “changing of the guard” at Westminster comes the need to see “the realities at stake” regarding Brexit and its impact on border communities here.

Criticising Mr Johnston’s “bullish ranting”, Mr McNulty said: “His first speech was, as expected, full of bluff but short on solutions to the challenges of Brexit.  Boris failed to break the habit of a lifetime. Bloated with bluff but short on solutions, he must face the reality that no amount of flag waving or saccharine patriotic populism will resolve the challenges Brexit poses.

“There is absolutely no evidence that this administration is prepared to make the brave compromise needed to protect the interests of people, communities and businesses in Northern Ireland.  A ‘can-do spirit’ won’t negate tariffs for the agri-food sector, it won’t conjure open supply lines for vital medicines, it won’t fix a potential regulatory misalignment and it certainly won’t remove the need for the backstop. This new administration, led by a populist, must face reality quickly. Otherwise we’re headed for a no-deal outcome and the interests of border communities and of this island will be sacrificed to sustain Johnson’s grip on power.” 

Claiming the Newry and Armagh region will be impacted the hardest with a hard Brexit, he added: “Whilst those in London might see an impact in its governance, we in local border communities will see an impact on everyday way of life.  A no-deal Brexit is the worst of all outcomes for this region and we cannot stand by and allow that to happen.  Boris may believe his maverick bullish attitude will get him somewhere positive, however, the reality of his current position for both his island and this island, is that the only place he appears to be angling towards would be economic ruin.”