Bradley must explain why people in the north are being held to ransom – O’Neill
Speaking after meeting the British Secretary of State in Belfast today, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill said:
“Yet again we heard no plan from Karen Bradley to restore the institutions. No ambition to deal with the issues of rights and equality.
“No indication whatsoever that Karen Bradley’s government is prepared to start prioritising the needs of our people and our institutions over the demands of the DUP.
“The only action we have seen from her is a step away from the Good Friday Agreement to deny people the right to have their say in an election.
“I made it clear that any attempt to move towards Direct Rule will fail.
“Karen Bradley is intent only on protecting her party’s survival with the DUP and she has a duty to explain to the people of the North why she is allowing us all to be held to ransom.
“On Friday I, along with the leaders of the SDLP, Alliance and Green Party, met with Michel Barnier. We did so as the majority voice of the people here.
“All those parties made it clear we want the institutions restored on the basis they were intended and all those parties made it clear, in terms of Brexit, that the DUP should not have a veto.
“Business people are also in Brussels today, looking for certainty and clarity. They are looking to the EU for protection from the reckless Tory Brexit agenda. This is further evidence of the opposition of the majority to any attempt to drag us out of the Customs Union and Single Market.
“As the negotiations reach a critical point, it is incumbent on us all to ensure our voices are heard and that our needs take precedent over the Tory-DUP pact.
“I’m going to meet the Tánaiste now and along with the Sinn Féin Leadership will meet with the Taoiseach and Theresa May over the coming days. Along with the SDLP, Alliance and Greens, we have also sought a joint meeting with the Taoiseach and Theresa May.
“The British Irish Intergovernmental Conference needs to meet again but the solution is clear. Rights that are routine everywhere else on these islands must be routine here also.
“There can be no return to the status quo and citizens cannot be denied and disenfranchised in order to satisfy the DUP’s demands.”