Talks stalemate ‘must end soon’ warns Dallat

John Dallat pictured at the Foyle Arema during the Westminster election count last Thursday.
John Dallat pictured at the Foyle Arema during the Westminster election count last Thursday.

East Derry Assembly Member John Dallat has warned that the current stalemate in politics in the north cannot be allowd to continue.

Mr Dallat was speaking this week amid speculation that any move towards restoring power-sharing could be delayed while the DUP leadership negotiated with the Conservative Party in London over a potential partnership agreement aimed at forming a new British government.

Following the Westminster election, cross-party talks resumed on Monday aimed at trying to get the Executive back up and running.

Mr Dallat said it was crucial that the vacuum that has existed since the crisis evolved back in January now comes to an end.

He warned that failure to restore the institutions could have serious ramifications for the north.

He also warned that given the looming Brexit negotiations, it was vital that the North was ready and that local voices were at the centre of the negotiations.

Mr Dallat said: “The current stalemate in politics cannot continue because we know that in the past political vacuums were filled by paramilitaries who wished to reassert their influence over whole communities and destroy the relative peace which we currently enjoy.”

Mr Dallat said the loss of the SDLP’s three parliamentarians following the results of the Westminster election would also have an impact.

He said: “The coming weeks will be critical to restoring devolution and resisting the harshest aspects of a hard-Brexit, hard austerity government.

“For the first time the SDLP has no representation at Westminster and an Assembly that isn’t functioning.

“That’s bad for democracy and undermines the very essence of the Good Friday Agreement, which was to build a new and inclusive society based on the solid foundation of partnership in government and collective responsibility at every level of society.”

Mr Dallat said that the SDLP “will continue to work intensively with other parties to reach a resolution”.

“Everybody else needs to get on with that work,” he said. “People are fed up with the stalemate and the bickering. It’s time for all parties to come together and deliver for the people we represent.”