Alliance Calls for Urgent Return of Multi-Party Talks

Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry MLA, has called for an urgent change in the format and approach to the talks process. Only a few days remain before the point at which the Secretary of State has stated his intention to intervene in the governance of Northern Ireland through passing a budget at Westminster.

Changing to a multi-party approach would allow for a different dynamic and new perspectives to help find an agreement.

Stephen Farry said: “Our political process is drifting towards the point where the Secretary of State, even belatedly, will be forced to make more direct interventions into the affairs of Northern Ireland.

“Whatever momentum has built up over previous weeks has seemingly come to a halt. While efforts to re-energise talks may continue this week, serious questions have to be asked if this is something that the DUP and Sinn Féin can do by themselves.

“The standoff over the presentational issues on how to take forward language and cultural issues shows that they are both much more deeply entrenched around matters of concerns to their core constituencies than the interests of Northern Ireland as a whole.

“Enormous patience has been displayed by the people across the spectrum in giving the DUP and Sinn Féin the space to resolve their differences. There is a danger of over-indulging this approach.

“In the precious days ahead, Alliance believes that a greater focus should now return to a multi-party talks format involving all of the five main parties. This would allow for more transparency around what progress has or has not been made, and also allow for different perspectives to both shape the nature of discussions and any potential outcome.

“The two Governments therefore need to change the dynamics in the negotiations, and any change in format should also be accompanied by indications that they will be willing to consider different approaches to the formation and maintenance of power-sharing in the event that the current approach in unsuccessful.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *