The North did not consent to leaving the EU

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Yesterday I attended the opening day of the Brexit legal challenge in Belfast which I, and other politicians in the North, am a party to.

The High Court challenge to the British government’s flawed approach to Brexit and Article 50 notification is a landmark case.

The people of Northern Ireland and Scotland clearly and democratically made a decision to remain members of the European Union.

It is the job of all public representatives across both devolved nations to defend that decision and to fight for it to be respected.

This is about the foundations of our democracy and the foundations of devolution.

When the people of Ireland, North and South, voted for the Good Friday Agreement, we decided that there would be no change to our constitutional position without the consent of people here.

The message we sent to Theresa May and her band of brexiteers is that we do not consent and we will not consent to being taken out of Europe against the will of our people.

I will continue to defend the principles of devolution and the democratic will of people in Northern Ireland through all possible means.

Colum Eastwood, MLA, SDLP leader