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British government must become part of the solution – Murphy

30 September, 2014 - by Conor Murphy

Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy today called on the British government to become part of the resolution of problems in the political process in the North of Ireland.

Conor Murphy was speaking at a fringe event at the Tory party conference in Birmingham as part of a panel discussion involving British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

Conor Murphy said:

“The British government has been part of the problem in the political process in the North.

“The British government refused to back the compromise Haass/O’Sullivan proposals on the issues of flags, parading and the legacy of the past. It has frustrated investigations into state killings and the state’s collusion with loyalist death squads and emboldened negative unionism by its increasing partisan pro-unionist stance. 

“It’s time therefore for the British government to become part of the solution.

“It can do that by honouring commitments it made in the Good Friday and other agreements on Acht na Gaeilge, a Bill of Rights and an independent inquiry into the murder of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.”

The Newry Armagh MP said that he welcomed the announcement of all-party talks. Conor Murphy said:

“Sinn Féin has been calling on the governments for some time now to convene all-party talks and I welcome the fact the Irish and British governments are now committed to making this happen.

“The governments are coequal guarantors of the agreements. Any negotiations must have an open agenda and the political will to reach agreement. The talks should include all parties and be time limited.

“There can be no preconditions, threats or preconceived outcomes to the negotiations and as such the British government should suspend immediately its threat to impose £87m in financial penalties.”

And Conor Murphy said the British government should transfer fiscal powers to the Executive in the wake of promises made to Scotland after the referendum

“The British government has cut the block grant to the Executive by billions over the last four years and reneged on commitments made to boost our economy.

“We need the transfer of a full suite of fiscal powers which includes corporation tax and the tax varying powers needed to grow our economy.” 

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