Long says it is a sad day for the peace process and wider Northern Ireland

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said it is a sad day for the peace process and wider Northern Ireland, after the DUP appeared to pull the plug on the talks.

“We were concerned as long ago as last June the two largest parties were not willing to make the compromises necessary to get devolution up and running again. Despite our best efforts to facilitate those accommodations, it appears there has been no movement since then on behalf of either the DUP or Sinn Fein, nor a willingness from them to close the gaps.

“It is now incumbent on the British and Irish Governments to come up with a way forward, because Northern Ireland has to be governed but a switch to Direct Rule does nothing but aid the DUP.

“Alliance has repeatedly said from the start of this talks process that without a more structured approach, we would not see a successful outcome. Despite constant reassurances from both Governments we were misreading the situation, it now appears everyone has been led a merry dance and we will have no agreement.

“A deal to restore devolution is, was and remains doable. We have sought an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State to discuss options for a way forward. The Government has a responsibility to take some kind of control – it is not right over 20 years of political investment should be squandered by a party which represents a minority of people across Northern Ireland.”

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