Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, with the imminent passage of the Policing Bill has argued that it is now ‘make your mind up time’ for Northern Ireland parties, in particular the SDLP.
Stephen Farry said:
“It is now ‘make your mind up time’ for all the parties in Northern Ireland over policing reforms.”
“It now seems inevitable that the Policing Bill will achieve its Third Reading in the House of Lords. The House of Commons can only accept or reject the Government’s own amendments; nothing new can be introduced.”
“The Patten Report was a good report. But it was only a series of recommendations. It has not been legitimised as a ‘compromise’ through a referendum as the Agreement itself was.”
“Alliance believes that the Policing Bill retains some deficiencies. We have major reservations over the use of quotas, and some weaknesses over human rights protections. However, 95% of the reforms are there.”
“Those parties, in particular the SDLP, now have to decide if they are going to embrace major positive change for the better or insist on a fundamentalist all or nothing approach that will seriously undermine the emergence a police service representative of and responsive to the whole community.”