SDLP: We will use all legal tools to keep NI in EU

The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood
The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood

The SDLP has vowed to use every “legal tool” at its disposal to make sure Northern Ireland remains within the EU.

In a statement on Wednesday, the party’s leader Colum Eastwood once again insisted that Northern Ireland’s pro-EU stance should be taken into consideration by the government in Westminster.

Northern Ireland voted by roughly 56% to 44% to remain within the EU, with Scotland also voting to remain “in” by 62%to 38%.

However, both England and Wales voted to leave, and the overall UK split was roughly 52% in favour of quitting the EU, against 48% who opted to stay.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, where the government discussed the looming exit from the EU, Mr Eastwood said: “It is increasingly clear that the British Prime Minister, left unopposed, will run roughshod over the wishes of the people in the North who voted to remain as part of the EU.

“We must not tolerate a situation where the future of North and of this island is again determined by Tories at Chequers.”

He declared that he will “use every parliamentary and legal tool to ensure that the North remains a part of the EU”.

He added: “Our name is already attached to a legal challenge and we are determined to see that process through to its end.”

On August 19, it was revealed that the Alliance Party, Green Party, SDLP, and Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd were all part of the legal action, seeking leave to apply for a judicial review centring on the triggering of Article 50 – the rule which would allow the UK to officially leave the EU.

Mr Eastwood had earlier rejected calls for a border poll, aimed at uniting the EU-based Republic with the Province.