SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone,
has warned that Northern Ireland is hours away from British Direct Rule
being enforced by a Tory Government in Westminster.
In the continued absence of an
Executive, the Mid Ulster MLA said that the only way to maintain the
essential balance of Northern Ireland’s political accommodation was for both
Governments, representing both traditions in the North, to step in and,
instead, provide joint stewardship of our politics.
Mr McGlone said, “The Stormont talks
appear to be following an all too familiar pattern - plenty of talk but very
little progress. Last week we called on the DUP and Sinn Féin to finally
publish their papers and show the public what progress, if any, they had
made. Seven days later, and the public are still waiting for answers.
“We now find ourselves hours away from
a Tory government in Westminster taking direct control of Northern Ireland.
“No-one should be blind as to the fact
that Sinn Fein’s negotiating is set to deliver British Direct Rule.
“A Tory government dependent on DUP
MPs is a combination which will do nothing to respect the Irish identity or
protect our collective rights. It will not protect local hospital services
or our schools. Surrendering power to such a government is a compromise the
SDLP would never have made.
“In the absence of an Executive and
Assembly, giving representation to the North’s two traditions falls on both
the Irish and British Governments. That is the basis of all our political
agreements and it is the accommodation we all signed up to.
“Maintaining that balance demands the
joint stewardship of the North by the two governments.”