Governments need to announce next step in talks quickly, says Long

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has challenged the British and Irish Governments to quickly announce the next step in the talks, to prevent further drift in the process.

Mrs Long was speaking after the Secretary of State brought legislation for the Northern Ireland Budget to Westminster. It is expected to pass through Parliament by the end of this week.

“Alliance has been continually vocal on what needs to happen in order to make this talks process successful. We need to firstly see the discussions opened up to bring other parties onboard, rather than just have the DUP and Sinn Féin talking in a vacuum. We also need an independent mediator to give the process impetus and a reform of the structures to allow a restoration of the Assembly.

“Now the two Governments need to announce without delay what the next stage in this process is going to be, because it cannot be allowed to drift any further. Without that, we are going to see more paralysis and further crumbling of our public services.

“If parties want to avoid formal Direct Rule, they have a precious few weeks left before it is inevitable. Alliance wants to see a sustainable, locally-accountable Executive taking important decisions. It’s time to see if others want the same.”

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