Request for Assembly deadline extension “surreal”: Long

Alliance Deputy Leader, Naomi Long MLA, has described as “surreal” the request by the Leader of the DUP, Rev Ian Paisley, that the Secretary of State should extend the November 24th deadline for agreement on restoration of the devolved assembly by two weeks.

Naomi Long said, “Although the direction of business by the Secretary of State is being handled in a completely haphazard and unsatisfactory manner, the suggestion that it has impacted on the likelihood of devolution being restored is quite surreal.

“The issues which have prevented the restoration of devolution are not those being debated on the floor of the Assembly, however important those issues may be. It is not lack of consensus on rural planning or the economy which has led to the current stalemate nor will discussion of them, however worthy, end it.

“Is the DUP seriously trying to tell the people that an extra two weeks of debates in the chamber would bring them one step closer to going into Government with Sinn Féin? If agreement is really so tantalisingly close that two weeks could make all the difference, many people will be asking why we don’t simply get on with it now! At least then we could direct our own business in an ordered way, conveniently solving both problems.”


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