News | Eastwood: British Government must reverse talks apathy

Eastwood: British Government must reverse talks apathy

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has called on the British Government to reverse its apathy toward the restoration of devolution and announce a timetable for talks led by an independent chair.

The Foyle MLA insisted that the DUP’s stranglehold on the Conservative Party cannot be allowed to delay an all-party dialogue any further and questioned the Tory administration’s commitment to public interest governance.

He said:

"For months, now, the British government has shown nothing but disinterest in convening an all-party dialogue to address the challenges preventing the restoration of devolution. They have become locked into a toxic mutual dependency with the DUP that is poisoning any hope of a resolution to the stalemate in Northern Ireland.

“Both parties have demonstrated over the course of two years that they’re willing to dismiss the needs of people in the North. But the naked self-interest in sustaining a perverse power drama at Westminster raises serious questions about the administration’s commitment to the public interest here.

“Now we learn that Karen Bradley is to extend the deadline for a settlement for another five months. The Northern Ireland Secretary has clearly taken a leaf out of Theresa May’s political strategy book - if in doubt, a delay is better than a decision. Many will rightly ask what’s the point?

“It’s time for both governments to step up and call an all-party dialogue under the authority of an independent chair. We need some urgency injected into this process.”

Colum Eastwood MLA

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