Mon 27th Feb 2017
SDLP Leader outlines plans for jobs and the economy
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood pictured with NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor and Cathal Geoghegan, Managing Director of the Mount Charles Group.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood today (Monday 27 February 2017) outlined his plans for jobs and the economy to leading members of the Northern Ireland business community ahead of the forthcoming election.
The SDLP leader was speaking at the fifth and final event of the ‘5 Leaders; 5 Days’ series, a programme of events organised by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) at which the party leader from five main political parties outline their plans for jobs, growth and the economy.
Mr Eastwood also turned his attention to Brexit.
Addressing business representatives at the Mount Charles Group offices on the Ormeau Road, he said:
“I think Brexit is one of the most serious and significant events on these islands since partition.”
“With the triggering of Article 50 only days away I’m concerned that a level of complacency has set in.”
“There is a belief that we have passed over the worst of Brexit…..well we haven’t.”
“I believe that the full weight of Brexit’s long-term consequences will transform the prism through which we view and contend both politics and economics for at least a generation.”
The SDLP Leader added: “Without getting into the practicalities, consider this? 1.85 million cars, 177,000 lorries and 208,000 light vans are recorded crossing the border each and every month.
“They don’t all travel up and down the M1 – there are over 260 border crossings.”
“So when I say there can be no hard border in Ireland, it is not a statement of blind stubbornness – it’s a recognition of reality.”
Today’s event followed previous addresses by DUP leader Arlene Foster; Ulster Unionist Leader Mike Nesbitt; Sinn Fein Leader Michelle O’Neill and Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long.