Chris Lyttle MLA said: “These talks must produce solutions on all the issues
under discussion. There must not be any attempt to push forward agreement on
one issue while leaving the others on the shelf. The First Minister must raise
his ambition for everyone in Northern Ireland after he claimed that it would be
easier to find a solution on parades than flags and it would be easier to find
a solution on flags than the past.
“The issues of flags, parades and the past are interlinked. We will not be able
to reach long term and permanent solutions to these issues if we do not attempt
to find agreement on a way forward on all three, and one which establishes
clearly the principles which underpin a shared and integrated future.
“I believe there is a growing momentum across society for politicians to agree
a comprehensive process to deal with the legacy of the past. Some people
believe that focusing on the past is counterproductive; however, we have seen
over the last year that the past will not simply fade away but continue to shape
the present and our future. Alliance believes that dealing with our past with
sensitivity and integrity is key to reconciliation and building a shared
“The talks are reaching a crucial stage. They must produce ambitious steps
forward if they are to fulfil the desires of the public. Tinkering at the edges
is not enough. Given the many disputes and outbreaks of public disorder that
have been caused by disagreement over these issues, people want a
transformation in the political approach to resolving them.
“Whatever proposals are put forward at the end of the process, they must be
long term, we cannot continue to put temporary sticking plasters over such