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Any attempt at direct rule would deepen crisis – Archibald

9 September, 2017 - by Caoimhe Archibald

Responding to comments by British Secretary of State James Brokenshire last night, Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said today any attempt by the British government to reintroduce direct rule would deepen the nature of the political crisis.

Caoimhe Archibald said:

“Any attempt to reimpose direct rule in the absence of a political agreement to reestablish the institutions by the British government would represent a retreat from the Good Friday and other agreements, and run counter to the democratic will of the majority of people North and South.

“The St Andrew’s Agreement of 2006 ended the ability of the British government to suspend the political institutions here and introduce direct rule.

 “If there is no agreement within the political process, it requires a new British and Irish partnership to implement the Good Friday Agreement as co-guarantors.

“The Irish government has an obligation to ensure that internationally binding agreements do not become collateral damage to the side deal the Tories have struck with the DUP.”

The East Derry MLA said the British government is responsible for the current crisis facing public services in the north having imposed years of relentless austerity.

“The Tories have cut more than a billion pounds from frontline public services in the north over the last seven years. Now supported by the DUP Tory cuts and austerity are due to continue.

“Our public services require investment not further devastating cuts.”

And Caoimhe Archibald said action not platitudes are required from the British Secretary of State on delivering truth and justice for families of those bereaved by the conflict.

“The British government has delayed the implementation of the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House in 2014.

“It has blocked the release of the funding required by the Lord Chief Justice to run legacy inquests.

“This is a scandal, families have been waiting more than 40 years for the most basic of investigations into the deaths of their loved ones. That is unacceptable. The families deserve action not platitudes from the British Secretary of State.”

The East Derry MLA said Sinn Féin’s focus in the weeks ahead remains the reestablishment of the political institutions.

“Sinn Féin’s focus in the weeks ahead is to re-establish sustainable political institutions on the basis of integrity, mutual respect and genuine power sharing.

“We want a rights based society where all citizens are treated equally.

“We want an end to the DUP and Tory denial of language rights, marriage rights and the right to a coroner’s inquest for families bereaved during the conflict, rights and entitlements, which are enjoyed by citizens everywhere else on these islands.

“We want a government where commitments given and agreements made are honoured and implemented.

 “That is doable if the political will exists within political unionism and on the part of the two governments.”

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