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Talks should be short, focused and rigorously impartial – Murphy

30 July, 2017 - by Conor Murphy

Sinn Féin will tell the British Government tomorrow that a deal to restore the Stormont Executive is only possible if rights are implemented and agreements honoured.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with British Secretary of State James Brokenshire in Belfast, Sinn Féin negotiator Conor Murphy said when talks resume, they should be 'short, focused and rigorously impartial'.

"Sinn Féin is entirely committed to a restoration of the power-sharing institutions but that will only be possible if the British Government get serious about their responsibilities to uphold citizens’ rights," the Newry and Armagh MLA commented.

"It simply isn't tenable that language rights, marriage equality and the right to coroner’s inquests are protected everywhere else on these islands except here. I don't think anyone would seriously want an Executive on that basis, where some citizens are denied the right to equal treatment.

"It is entirely reasonable to expect equality of treatment and it is entirely reasonable to expect that previous agreements are honoured. If everyone can sign up to that when the talks resume, the institutions can be restored in a very short space of time."

Calling for the talks to be conducted as quickly as possible, Conor Murphy continued:

"It is certainly Sinn Féin's view that the negotiations should be short and focused on an early resolution. Public confidence has already been exhausted by the RHI and other financial scandals associated with the DUP so the last thing people want to see is another drawn out and fruitless process.

"Again that will require the British Government adopting a rigorously impartial approach as they are compelled to under the Good Friday Agreement and ending their approach to date which has been to acquiesce to the DUP's anti-rights, anti-equality agenda." 

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