Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy, speaking from London on the eve of a series of engagements with political parties in Westminster, said it was vital that the British government re-engage fully and positively to address outstanding issues in the Peace and Political process.
Mr Molloy is in London for meetings with the main Westminster political parties, and will brief MPs on recent developments including the forthcoming cross party talks announced for late June. He will also discuss the political landscape following the recent European and local government elections, which saw Sinn Féin emerge as the largest party in Ireland.
Speaking from London Mr Molloy said:
“The talks announced for later this month provide a crucial window of opportunity to make progress on the serious issues of dealing with the past, flags and contentious parades. All of the outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday and subsequent agreements must also be addressed.
“Sinn Féin does not underestimate the challenges, but we believe that there is an opportunity to make progress if all of the parties and the two governments fully engage in a spirit of positivity. We believe these issues can all be resolved if everyone is genuinely dedicated to finding a way forward.
“We have also consistently raised the lack of engagement by the current British government, and I will continue to press this during meetings tomorrow, as Martin McGuinness did in his recent phone call to David Cameron.
On the recent elections and the wider economic challenges, including welfare reform, Mr Molloy said
“I will also discuss the on-going economic situation, and press Sinn Féin’s view that a change of direction is needed. People in government in London need to understand that their austerity and welfare cuts agenda is plunging more and more people into poverty. Sinn Féin will be using our enhanced electoral mandate to continue to fight to defend living standards for all of the people in the north, and across Ireland.
“As the largest party on the island of Ireland, we will be bringing a strong and positive message to the British government and MPs tomorrow, that this short window of opportunity to resolve these crucial issues must not be squandered.”