'British Government and DUP biggest impediment to progress' - O'Neill
The British Government’s reliance on the DUP is the single biggest impediment to the restoration of the power-sharing institutions at Stormont, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.
The Sinn Féin Vice-President was commenting after speaking to British Secretary of State Karen Bradley today.
Michelle O’Neill said: “I spoke to the British Secretary of State by phone today and she confirmed that her government will not be making any attempt to restore the power-sharing institutions prior to the local government elections on May 2nd.
“She also confirmed that she intends to extend by five months the legislation she introduced last year as her supposed plan to restore the institutions. Since then, her government has done absolutely nothing to resolve the issues at the heart of the impasse. Can we expect the same for the next five months?
“Once again, the British Government has shown that it is prepared to legislate when it suits the British Government but refuses to act on issues like Marriage Equality, Acht Gaeilge, the legacy bodies and compensation for victims of institutional abuse.
“Karen Bradley’s Government is wholly reliant on the DUP in order to cling to power, and this toxic relationship, alongside Brexit, has become the biggest impediment to restoring the power-sharing institutions on the basis of genuine equality and respect.
“The DUP are at complete odds with the cross-community majority of MLAs and public here who oppose their reckless Brexit agenda and their ongoing refusal to treat all citizens equally.
“Power-sharing can and should be restored but that will require Karen Bradley’s government finally confronting the DUP’s discriminatory agenda and upholding their own responsibilities to citizens and the equality of treatment.”