SDLP calls for Sinn Fein to publish details of failed talks


A Derry SDLP councillor has called on Sinn Féin to publish the details of the failed talks process at Stormont.

Colr. Cusack said Sinn Fein should publish the details of the failed talks before projecting "their failure to negotiate" on to other parties.

“It’s time for Raymond McCartney and Sinn Féin to get a grip. It’s time to come clean and to publish what’s on the table. The public have a right to know what has still to be agreed in the failed talks before Sinn Fein try deflecting their failure to negotiate on to other parties who have been kept out of the process.

"The fact is this has been a secret negotiation between Sinn Féin and DUP. They delivered nothing for Derry while they jointly led Government in the North with the DUP for the past ten years. And their status quo of secrecy has delivered nothing over the past eleven months to deliver a deal to take our society forward."

Colr. Cusack went on to claim that where the SDLP had been open and clear on policy, Sinn Fein and the DUP had not.

“Now Sinn Féin want us to clarify what we would compromise on! The SDLP is the only party that has come clean with the public. Months ago we published all our positions on our website and we called on others to do the same. Sinn Féin and the DUP have not."

Colr Cusack affirmed the only way people would be able to judge Sinn Fein's performance at the negotiating table was if details were published.

"Right now, we can’t. It’s like asking someone - what would you like me to take out of this black bag? - without knowing what exactly is in the bag!"

"Publish the details and let’s see for ourselves and then we can all assess how Sinn Fein has negotiated. We have not been told to what extent they have moved on the substantial rights issues."

“The SDLP was founded on civil rights. The rights enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement are a lasting monument to our success. We won’t be lectured by Sinn Féin, a party preparing to compromise all those rights by handing them back to the Tories under the whip hand of the DUP.

“Sinn Féin was a partner in the last Executive with the DUP and approved the last Programme for Government that had no Irish Language Act, no Marriage Equality Act, no Economic Equality Act. With their fingerprints all over that failure, it is extreme hypocrisy to lecture the SDLP who rejected that Programme for Government and tabled legislation on all of those issues."

Colr Cusack added: “Sinn Féin utterly failed in their time in government. Instead of delivering on economic rights, they conspired with the DUP to allow the Tories to take back our devolved powers over welfare bringing callous and cruel cuts to the weakest in our society. And now they are plunging us into direct rule, ready to hand over all control to the British Government. Giving Arlene Foster and the DUP more power than they could ever have imagined over our lives and our futures.

“Raymond McCartney has a brass neck to talk about the Good Friday Agreement when Sinn Féin and the DUP have failed the Good Friday Agreement, failing to deliver the power-sharing and partnership government that the majority of people on this island voted for.

“You can’t deliver a rights based society by handing all power to Theresa May and the Tories. It used to be Brits out from Sinn Féin – but it seems now the Sinn Fein mantra has turned to Brits in.”