Political news

Jeremy Corbyn: 'Unconscionable' that civil servants and not elected politicians are making major decisions

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn looking over the Folye river to the Peace Bridge before a Londonderry Chamber business breakfast during the second day of a visit to Northern Ireland as party leader. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Michael McHugh, Press Association

Jeremy Corbyn has said it is "unconscionable" for elected politicians to have no say in major decisions in Northern Ireland as he called on the Stormont parties to come together to resurrect devolution.

The Labour leader visited Derry on the second day of a two-day trip to learn more about how Brexit affects Northern Ireland.

Recently a civil service decision to approve a major incinerator project in the continued absence of powersharing ministers was overturned by the courts.

Mr Corbyn said: "It is unconscionable that you have civil servants making major decisions, then challenged by the courts, with elected politicians having no say whatsoever."

Stormont has not sat for months following a dispute over a botched green energy scheme.

The Labour leader attended a business breakfast in Derry this morning.

He said he was seeking a customs partnership with the EU to ensure there were no regulatory barriers after Brexit.

"Any kind of border, physical border, virtual reality border, technological border, whatever, would be very damaging to the economy," Mr Corbyn said.

He said it would threaten the progress and direction of travel since the end of the Troubles and the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

Ian Knox cartoon 25/5/18: In a speech at QUB Jeremy Corbyn pledges that were he PM his government would be neutral in the event of a border poll. The rest of the speech was less committal 

On Thursday, Mr Corbyn insisted he was not advocating or asking for a referendum on Irish unity.

The Labour leader said if he was to become British prime minister, he would only trigger a border poll in line with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement - which stipulates a vote can only be called if there is evidence that a majority in Northern Ireland would support reunification.

Mr Corbyn, who in the past made no secret of his support for a united Ireland, was pressed on the issue on his first visit to Northern Ireland as Labour leader.

Read more: Jeremy Corbyn against special status for Northern Ireland after Brexit

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking during a Londonderry Chamber business breakfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

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