Alliance concerned at Sinn Fein jeopardizing talks progress

Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Naomi Long, has expressed serious concern at Sinn Fein’s approach to discussions in today’s Preparation for Government Committee, in relation to the draft report on ‘Rights, Safeguards, Equality Issues and Victims.’

The East Belfast Assembly Member said: “On 1st September, a proposal was brought by the DUP that British passports should be made available for those born in the Republic of Ireland since 1949. Whilst there was no agreement on that proposal, an amended proposal stating that the matter should be referred to the two governments for their consideration, was agreed by all members.

“In today’s discussions, Sinn Fein indicated that they would withhold their agreement from the entire report on these issues because it reflected accurately those discussions and not their current position. Sinn Fein have now taken the position that they will not agree the draft report unless history is re-written to reflect that they did not give consensus on 1st September, despite Hansard reports to the contrary.

“In doing so, they are potentially jeopardizing months of discussion on issues which go right to the core or our problems here in Northern Ireland – Issues of good relations, equality, a shared future, victims and survivors, and human rights.

“Other parties have made every effort to allow Sinn Fein to clarify their position, but the report is precisely that – a report of what actually happened.”

Naomi Long concluded: “I would urge Sinn Fein to work with other parties to resolve this matter in a reasonable way, so that is issues which are of paramount importance to the future of our society are not held hostage. We will be revisiting this issue next week, and I would urge all parties to work together to seek a satisfactory resolution for everyone.”


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