Speaking following Secretary of State Theresa Villiers’ talks update to the House of Commons this afternoon, East Belfast MP Mrs Long said other parties lacked the will to reach agreement on issues including welfare reform, parades and the past, meaning a deal was no closer than during the Haass talks one year ago.
“Far from further devolution of matters such as corporation tax being at stake this week, the devolved institutions themselves are in serious danger of collapse. Without a budget, the Assembly cannot function, so time is running out for it.
“While all parties seemingly recognise there is a need for agreement and have done since before the Haass process, practically we are no further on because some clearly lack the will to deliver such an agreement.
“Other parties need to put aside their pre-election posturing and think about the bigger picture, which is the people of Northern Ireland and the society in which people want to live. Without agreement on these matters, that unfortunately looks less and less likely.”