'The DUP must end its blockade': First Minister Designate Michelle O'Neill calls for restoration of power sharing

First Minister Designate, Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill said people now want to see politics working for local people as she called on the DUP to get back to the Executive.
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Speaking from Stormont, Sinn Féin Vice-President Michelle O’Neill welcomed the breakthrough between London and Brussels in securing agreement. She said that most people’s minds will now turn to the need to restore the political institutions without delay.

Michelle O’Neill said said she welcomed the joint announcement from the European Commission President and the British Prime Minister that negotiations have now concluded and a joint agreement secured on Monday.

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“I listened to what they said and will now assess the full detail of the Agreement, and what effect it will have in practice,” Ms. O’Neill said.

Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill.Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill.
Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill.

“Sinn Féin has impressed upon the Prime Minister and Commission President throughout this process that the fundamental principles we wanted to safeguard were no hard border on the island of Ireland, protecting the Good Friday Agreement, and safeguarding access to the EU single market for the whole island.

“Most people’s minds will now be on restoration of the Executive and other political institutions of the Good Friday Agreement so that we can get back to work and together make politics work. This means that the DUP must end its blockade.”

Responding to the new deal, DUP Leader Jeffrey Donaldson MP, whose party backed Brexit, said: “In broad terms it is clear that significant progress has been secured across a number of areas whilst also recognising there remain key issues of concern. There can be no disguising the fact that in some sectors of our economy EU law remains applicable in Northern Ireland.

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“The DUP will want to study the detail of what has been published today as well as examining the detail of any and all underpinning legal texts. Where necessary we stand ready to engage with the Government in order to seek further clarification, re-working or change as required.

Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill with Derry MLAs Ciara Ferguson and Pádraig Delargy.Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill with Derry MLAs Ciara Ferguson and Pádraig Delargy.
Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O'Neill with Derry MLAs Ciara Ferguson and Pádraig Delargy.

“Ultimately the party will now assess all these proposed outcomes and arrangements against our seven tests, outlined in our 2022 Assembly Election Manifesto, to determine whether what has been published meet our tests and whether it respects and restores Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.”