Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald this afternoon met with the DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson in Stormont.
She said it was a useful meeting with the kind of straight talking needed if the Executive is going to deliver.
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“I made it clear that if he is up for genuine partnership with the other parties then Sinn Féin will be willing partners. I also said that I expect the North South Ministerial Council meeting, which was supposed to take place in June, will now take place before the end of July.
“There are huge challenges facing society as a result of Covid and Brexit and the five parties on the Executive need to work together, on the basis of equality and respect. Sinn Féin moved heaven and earth in recent months to ensure that the Assembly and Executive could continue to function and that rights, which exist elsewhere, were delivered.
“But the political institutions need to do much more than survive, we need a real commitment to genuine power-sharing and we need to ensure that agreements made are honoured.
“Threat to jeopardise the stability of the political institutions over the Protocol will have absolutely no impact on its implementation.
“The Protocol is now part of an international agreement between the EU and the British government. It is not going to be re-written and the priority now is to make it work smoothly.
“We can do this by dealing with some of the issues around its implementation and by using the opportunities created by the Protocol to help create jobs, build the economy and invest in our health service.”