January 11, 2021
British and Irish governments must honour all commitments of New Decade, New Approach – Mary Lou McDonald

Uachtarán Shinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald TD has said today that the British and Irish governments must honour all commitments of the New Decade, New Approach document. 

The Sinn Féin President was speaking following a meeting today with the British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis,  Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and representatives of the DUP, the UUP, the SDLP and the Alliance party.

Teachta McDonald said:

“Today, Michelle O’Neill and I met with the British government’s Secretary of State Brandon Lewis, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and representatives of the other Executive parties.

“At the heart of the Executive’s return a year ago today was a commitment to power-sharing and equality to deliver better and accountable government  for all of our people.

“The public want and expect us all, despite our distinctly different outlooks, to work together to provide political leadership and improve public services.

“We discussed the work of the Executive, all-island bodies and the implementation of commitments made in the New Decade, New Approach document.

“Throughout the last year, Ministers have used the political space and opportunity created last January and have shown repeatedly they are best placed to act in the interests of our people. At times there is sharp and legitimate disagreement between the parties, who bring differing approaches to the table.

“We must accept this is the reality and I do not doubt the sincerity of any minister doing difficult work on behalf of the public we serve.

“The Executive has faced unprecedented challenges with the impact of the global pandemic, a reckless Tory Brexit which has flown in the face of the will of the people of the north and the huge difficulties facing the health service and workers and families across the island. 

“Notwithstanding the difficulties within the Executive, which we must collectively address, Sinn Féin remains resolute in our determination to do what is right as political leaders through genuine power-sharing. That is why legislation to ensure respect and protection for the Irish language and identity is so important and needs to be enacted as soon as possible.

“The British and Irish governments must also honour outstanding commitments of New Decade, New Approach. This includes meeting their financial commitments and honoring and implementing commitments, in New Decade New Approach and in the Stormont House Agreement on dealing with the legacy of the past.

“Challenges remain, but by working together and by working with Ministers across the island through the north-south bodies, the Executive can continue to deliver better government to the north as we move towards a new, inclusive united Ireland.” 

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