Ford says values of Good Friday Agreement remain best way to move society forward

Alliance MLA David Ford has said the values of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) remain the best way to move Northern Ireland forward.

Mr Ford was speaking on the 20th anniversary of the GFA referendum, which saw over 71 per cent of voters in Northern Ireland back the yes campaign.

“There is no doubt our politics is in crisis, more so than it has been for a number of years – from the lack of an Executive, to setbacks in trying to re-establish power-sharing and the impending disaster of Brexit. But it is vital to remember how far we have progressed as a society because of the GFA,” said Mr Ford.

“As a result of it, we have witnessed a complete transformation across Northern Ireland. Its hope was not just for a stable and peaceful future, but one in which we were fully integrated as a community with sustainable political institutions and a prosperous Northern Ireland delivering for everyone.

“To get back to that, the Secretary of State needs to convene all-party talks with an independent mediator who can engage with everyone, with a view to rebuilding trust between parties and making devolution work again.

“While it is not perfect, the spirit of the GFA remains the best basis on which to build further progress. What we were once capable of, we can be capable of again. Twenty years after the resounding backing of the people of Northern Ireland, the positive vision, bold ideas and strong leadership given by the GFA remain the only ways to move our society forward.”

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