Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has said that the proposals from the Governments reflect some compromise ideas put forward by Alliance in recent weeks, based on the fundamental principles of the Agreement. However he warned that there are major gaps that still need to be addressed.
David Ford said:
“It is a pity that the parties were incapable of negotiating a political breakthrough, but the Governments were left with no alternative but to try to break the political deadlock themselves.
“What now seems to be on offer is consistent with the fundamental principles of the Agreement. I urge both the DUP and Sinn Fein to seize the opportunity presented to them. If they fail to do so, they risk an indefinite period of direct rule.
“The current proposals are aimed at finding some degree of political accommodation between the DUP and Sinn Fein. They include compromise suggestions put forward by Alliance. In particular, this involves the collective approval of the Executive by the Assembly on a cross-community basis, and preparing for the devolution of policing and criminal justice.
“However, even if both the DUP and Sinn Fein accept these proposals, it is clear that any new beginning for the Assembly will be on a very fragile basis. Further reforms to the Assembly structures and a major commitment to improving community relations will be required to ensure that devolution is stable and sustainable.”