Sinn Féin accuse British Government of bad faith
Sinn Féin has described a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing St this morning as ‘very robust and frank’.
The delegation included Gerry Adams TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Michelle O’Neill MLA, Elisha McCallion MP and Conor Murphy MLA.
Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O’Neill said:
“We told the British Prime Minister Theresa May this morning that her government must bear the greater responsibility for the failure to reach agreement on the restoration of the institutions.
“The provision of an Irish Language Act, Marriage Equality, a Bill of Rights and funding for legacy inquests are all British government obligations.
“Progress is only possible if her government honours those commitments.
“We told Mrs May that direct rule is not an option and that she must look to the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement for the establishment of an intergovernmental conference involving the Irish and British governments.
“It has also emerged that the British government intend to include a statute of limitations ‘covering all troubles related incidents’ for British crown forces in a new section in their consultation on the Stormont House Agreement Bill. Such a proposition is no part of the Stormont House Agreement and despite being involved for the last ten months in negotiations with British officials Sinn Féin was never informed of this intention.
“We understand the Irish government was not informed either until we brought it to their attention.
“We told Mrs May that this is an act of bad faith and is unacceptable”.
Concluding Michelle O’Neill said: “The crisis in the North’s political institutions arose almost one year ago because of the scandal in the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and allegations of corruption from within the DUP about the DUP.
“It also has its roots in the failure of the British and Irish governments to honour their commitments under the terms of the Good Friday and subsequent agreements, and to ensure that the rights of citizens are respected.
“We also raised with the British Prime Minister the widespread concern on the island of Ireland about the impact of Brexit on our economies and communities. Brexit is the single biggest threat to our economies. We challenged Mrs May to spell out how she believes a so-called seamless and frictionless border is possible. Sinn Féin believes this is only possible if the north is given a special status within the European Union.”