Election ‘scuppered’ Assembly resolution

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion.
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Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion has said the decision by the British Government to call an election has effectively “scuppered any chance” of resolution in the Stormont talks.

Parties at Stormont have been engaged in talks since the March 2 Assembly elections.

The talks were aimed at resolving the issues which led to the late Martin McGuinness resigning as deputy First Minister and getting the Executive and Assembly back up and running.

No agreement has yet been reached however and Mrs. McCallion said that the decision by British Prime Minister Theresa May to call a snap Westminster election for June 8 has not helped the talks process in the north.

She said: “The announcement of the Westminster election effectively scuppered any chance of a resolution which would have seen the institutions restored on the basis of equality, respect and integrity.

“A resolution was doable at any stage of the talks if there had been political will on behalf of the British government and the DUP.

“Instead the Tories continued to pander to the DUP’s agenda of blocking progress on equality and refusing to give the Lord Chief Justice the funding for legacy inquests.”

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have had meetings with other smaller parties this week to try and gather support for an anti-Brexit, progressive alliance pact to send a message back to Westminster backing the earlier EU Referendum Remain vote.

The Green Party however have pulled out of the talks, with the SDLP saying this week that there is now only a slim chance for such a pact.