January 19, 2023
British government must end do-nothing approach and work to restore Executive – O’Neill

Sinn Féin First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has challenged the British Government to spell out what it is doing to help restore the Executive and end the DUP’s blockade. 

Speaking from London today before the British Irish Inter-Governmental Conference meets in Dublin Michelle O’Neill said:

“In May, the people of the north voted for change and for parties to work together to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and fix the problems in our health service. 

“Over eight months on, we still do not have an Executive in place to tackle the huge issues facing workers and families because one party is refusing to accept the result of that election. 

“Chris Heaton-Harris’ time in the office of British Secretary of State has been one of dithering, delay and indecision and a do-nothing approach to ending the DUP’s blockade. 

“He did provide cover for the DUP, changing the law to prevent the people having their say on their refusal to get back to work around the Executive table.

“He claimed he needed space while families struggled with the soaring costs of food, heating and energy without an Executive to support them.

“While our health workers and patients are being overwhelmed as a decade of Tory cuts saw services collapsing and waiting lists grow.

“While life saving and life changing legislation is being prevented from being enacted.

“The time for stalling is over.

“The British Government must clearly spell out to the people, and to us as political leaders, what it is doing to restore the Assembly and Executive the people voted for.

“There is no time to waste. There is serious work to be done in the coming days. The progress made towards reaching an agreement on the Protocol must be built on and talks between the British government and the EU intensified. 

“As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, there is an onus on the Irish government to do more to get the Executive back up and running now so we can work together and deliver for people.”

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