Alliance meets Ministers in ongoing talks

An Alliance delegation met Minister of State Des Browne and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Tom Kitt this afternoon at Castle Buildings as part of the ongoing talks process. The delegation consisted of Party Leader David Ford MLA, Deputy Leader Eileen Bell MLA, Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy MLA and General Secretary, Cllr Stephen Farry.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Ford said: “We put our case to the Ministers for the real need for a comprehensive review of the Agreement. There is not just a need to deal with the current outstanding issues, but also any imminent problems.

“Until we get to grips with the sectarian designation system and inequality of the key voting system, it is inevitable that there will be a post-election crisis that could make restoration of the institutions impossible in the near future.

“I welcome the commitment of the Ministers to include the designations and voting system in the review agenda, but I am not interested in merely discussing these matters; it is vital that we deal with all the outstanding problems.

“Alliance wants to see an inclusive, transparent process. Many of the outstanding issues should have been dealt with in the Implementation Group, which has so far failed to live up its name. All parties and both governments will have to increase their efforts to resolve difficulties early in the new year.”

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