“We welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach, and to stress to both the importance of ensuring if any deal between the DUP and Sinn Féin is reached in the next few days, it is future proofed and sustainable,” she said.
“Specifically, we stressed reform of the petition of concern is needed. It is vital to prevent any future difficult decisions destabilising a new Executive and Assembly. Deferring the decision itself could create instability later if reform cannot be agreed.
“We also emphasised the impact their approach to Brexit will have on sustainability. Only the UK remaining within a customs union and single market or a special deal for Northern Ireland which avoids a hard border will prevent further political instability. The UK Government has a particular responsibility to recognise the impact of a hard Brexit and hard border on Northern Ireland, and the institutions.
“Finally, we raised the issue of dealing with the past and its legacy, specifically the proposed statute of limitations for soldiers accused of unlawful killings in the Troubles. Such a statute, which was inserted after the Stormont House Agreement and which has the support of no party here, would undermine the rule of law and could seriously derail any deal made from this talks process, not to mention the legacy structures themselves.
“It is vital not only we see an Executive restored, but it is stable and capable of addressing the major political, social and financial challenges which face us. Anything less will fail to restore public confidence in politics and the institutions.”