The Alliance Party has called on the Governments to challenge other parties to prove they have the appetite for the genuine compromise needed to make devolution and cross-border institutions work. The party’s warning follows its caution that one more breakdown of the Assembly would be fatal.
Speaking after meeting the Secretary of State and Irish Foreign Minister, new Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long stated: “The public is rightly impatient with the process, but it is essential that we get this right. People want to see the institutions up and running, but they also want to be sure they deliver to them and their communities, and that they are permanent.
“Another ‘revolving-door Assembly’ is simply not an option. This means a genuine all-party agreement is necessary, not a ‘quick fix’.
“We have to question other parties’ commitment to achieving this. People must stop talking about ‘Plan B’. We are here to discuss ‘Plan A’, to reach a real cross-party agreement which gets an Assembly up and running and which makes sure that Assembly delivers for people and for the whole community.
“Other parties have to ask themselves whether they are serious about consensus politics and real community leadership for the benefit of all, or whether they would prefer to shirk responsibility and settle for direct rule, joint authority and a permanent sectarian stand-off.
“The parties must be honest with the people about whether they have a genuine appetite for cross-party agreement.”