Northern Ireland political talks statement.
Speaking this evening after meetings with the other parties and the British and Irish governments, Alliance Party Assembly member Cllr Naomi Long stated:
“Alliance has been expanding upon its compromise proposals made yesterday in order to bridge the gap that is separating us from a return to devolved government. On the crucial issue of accountability, we have been working to create a system that is fairer and more equitable than that previously proposed by the Government.
“If accountability is the key to unlocking progress on the other major matters of concern – paramilitary activity, decommissioning, devolution of policing and justice – then we will know soon enough if people are genuine about reaching a resolution, or whether it is being used as a delaying tactic.
“Accountability is not about putting elected representatives in ministerial straitjackets. Meaningful checks and balances are a democratic norm around the world. What we are currently doing, is trying to find a path between an effective veto on ministerial decisions and almost unfettered ministerial power.
“It is important that accountability does not become the new decommissioning, at a time when the public needs stable and sustainable democratic institutions to take their destiny back into their own hands, and out of the hands of remote control ministers from Westminster.”