Farry says intensive talks with deadline needed

Alliance MLA Stephen Farry has said an intensive talks process with a set deadline is needed to resolve the ongoing crisis at Stormont.

Mr Farry was speaking following the failure of a bid by the DUP to adjourn the Assembly for a number of weeks. He said talks were urgently needed, as the current status quo was “unsustainable”.

“This crisis, which began with the refusal of some parties to deal realistically with the issue of welfare, is deepening and we are getting further each day from a functioning Executive. That is compounded by the loss of trust between unionists and nationalists, leaving an Executive which fails to take decisions vital to people’s lives.

“If the institutions are to have any realistic chance of survival and delivery, we need to resolve the issues on the table. The institutions have lurched from crisis to crisis since 1998, with parties recycling the same crunch discussions about the same issues year after year. That is no longer acceptable.

“Alliance’s preference would have been for there to be a resolution found long before now, which unfortunately has not been the case. Devolution is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland. This is not the first opportunity to truly cement it but it may well be the last if the political will is not there.”

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