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Mc Laughlin appeals to Business Sector to use influence to secure return of Executive

16 May, 2006

In his contribution during a presentation by the Business Alliance on the Economy in Stormont today Sinn Féin Economic Spokesperson, Mitchel Mc Laughlin appealed to the Business sector to use its influence to convince the DUP of the inescapable fact that without a fully functioning Executive that the Six-county economy would continue to lag far behind that of the rest of the island.

Mitchel Mc Laughlin told the Business Alliance that:

“Sinn Féin has long held the view that if the North’s economy is to prosper, it can only do so in an All Ireland context.  I welcome the fact that more and more political and economic opinion throughout Ireland is beginning to seriously examine that argument. But it is self evident that without the re-establishment of a fully functioning Assembly Executive that the parties are powerless to make the decisions required to address your concerns. The opportunity for the economic development of the 6 counties, as an integral part of an Island economy, has come onto the agenda in the context of the GFA, the work of InterTradeIreland, and the potential in the Common Chapter.  Essentially the way forward is mapped out, have we the collective will to go for it?

“Currently, the most immediate obstacle to any comprehensive economic development strategy is the suspension of the Assembly.  Consequently, the economic potential of the north of Ireland is not being fulfilled.  Local ministers and politicians are not making the decisions which would make a difference to developing a coherent, comprehensive economic strategy which is all Ireland in nature, which takes into account local conditions and which is for the benefit of all people on the island of Ireland.  This is a further reason why it is essential to have the political institutions restored and the Good Friday Agreement working again.

“I therefore, appeal to you to use whatever influence you may have to convince the DUP leaders to participate in the Institutions of the GFA on the basis of equality.  Exercising a negative veto on politics in the North is doing irreparable damage to the economy and social fabric.”ENDS

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