Pat Doherty MP briefing Scottish parties on problems in political process
Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty is in Scotland for two days of briefings on the current state of play in the political process and the ongoing multi-party talks.
Speaking from Edinburgh, the West Tyrone MP said:
"I have had a series of useful meetings in Glasgow with individuals in civic society and the Irish community in Scotland, and with political representatives in the Scottish Parliament.
“I believe there is a need for people in Scotland to be informed about the state of the political process in Ireland.
“The process is faced with a serious threat posed by an anti-Good Friday Agreement axis within political unionism, intent on resisting progress on a range of matters, including those of parades, flags and dealing with the legacy of our past.
Mr Doherty continued:
"In our view, this refusal by unionism to deal with the big issues is being facilitated by the London government. They are doing this from both their own pro-unionist position and their calculations that they may need unionist support to maintain the balance of power post next year’s general election.
“In addition to all of this, we have suffered swingeing cuts to the budget which the Executive receives from London and demands by the British government to implement vicious welfare cutsl, which Sinn Féin is continuing to block in the interests of the vulnerable in our society.
"All of these factors present serious challenges to progress, and indeed to the very survival of our political institutions.“Therefore I believe my visit has provided a useful opportunity to update key figures in Scotland on these issues, and ask them to join the growing number of voices being raised in support of the Good Friday Agreement".