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Russell comments call British commitment to institutions into question – Maskey

18 May, 2018 - by Alex Maskey

Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey said comments reported by the Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell call into question the British government’s commitment to restoring the political institutions in the north.

He was commenting after the Scottish Brexit Secretary accused Theresa May’s Government of refusing to transfer powers to the devolved administration due to fears of how Sinn Féin would use them in a future Stormont Assembly. 

Mike Russell also described the DUP’s influence on Downing Street as a ‘dangerous situation’ and told the British Government they should ‘give up democracy altogether’ if they are so afraid of giving people a vote on their own future. 

Alex Maskey said:

“MIke Russell’s comments stem from his discussions with the Minister for the Cabinet Office so they are not without substance and, in Sinn Féin’s view, his assessment is absolutely correct. 

“His comments call into question the British government’s commitment to restoring the power sharing institutions in the north.

“The British Government is in hock to the DUP and this toxic relationship is manifesting itself in an increasingly anti-democratic, anti-equality and anti-rights approach from Downing Street.

“It is blatantly obvious they are abandoning any pretence of the rigorous impartiality demanded of them by the Good Friday Agreement.

“It comes as no surprise to us that the British Government would be afraid of Sinn Féin’s approach in a local administration with increased powers. 

“They know we would use those powers to protect citizens from the reckless hard Brexit and harder austerity agenda they are pursuing.

“The British Government have always been prepared to treat the people of the North as collateral damage. 

“However, Mike Russell’s comments show that more and more people in Britain are seeing that Theresa May is prepared to see her own citizens suffer in order to cling to power by pandering to the DUP.”

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