Long says it is a critical week for future of power-sharing

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MEP has said it is a “critical” week for the future of power-sharing here.

Mrs Long said the selection of a new Prime Minister and a potential change in Secretary of State will alter the dynamics surrounding the ongoing talks process but it is crucial parties do not shift focus away from getting devolution restored amidst changes elsewhere.

“Alliance has played our part in this process, as have others, and we continue to work to maximise consensus. But with wider political events occurring this week, namely a new Prime Minister being selected, we are entering a critical week for the talks process and the future of power-sharing.

“Parties need to focus on getting an Executive and Assembly restored, and not become distracted by events in Westminster.

“This process has been lacking momentum from the outset. While the two main parties now finally appear to be engaging more intensively, any distraction could still derail it. We need focus over the next few days if any resolution to this impasse is to be found.

“The problems are not insurmountable if there is both the will and the focus to get a deal done. Without both, we will continue to drift and the people of Northern Ireland will continue to suffer. In the recent elections, people demanded better – parties need to use this window of opportunity to deliver that.”