Time for progress in Stormont all-party talks: McNulty

June 3, 2019

 SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has said its time to get down to business and make real progress in the All Party Talks at Stormont.  Mr McNulty, who is a member of the SDLP Talks team was speaking after the Tánaiste and Secretary of State met local party leaders on Thursday last.

Calling for progress to be made, he said: “People are fed up with the stagnation in our politics and want all parties to get their acts together and get the Assembly and Executive up and running again.

“I spent the last eight weeks on the doors, with the both the Council and European elections and the frustration with the big two parties was palpable on the door steps and this was reflected in the elections.  People want progress and they are crying out for politicians to make real progress at Stormont.

“The SDLP has been pressing for a short and focused period of intense political negotiations to overcome outstanding issues and see the return of a genuinely inclusive power sharing Executive and Assembly. We welcome the fact that these negotiations are now happening.  We are committed to securing a resolution to these negotiations that will restore government in Northern Ireland and allow a reformed Assembly to deal with issue of rights, identity and equality. That’s why we’ve been making bold proposals to break the stalemate – to suspend the operation of the Petition of Concern for the lifetime of this Assembly mandate and deal with those issues in reformed institutions.

“The Tánaiste articulated the view that there is a short a window for success and the SDLP wholeheartedly agree. We have a hospital waiting list crisis, a schools funding crisis and a welfare cliff-edge emergency. Those issues need urgent local political leadership. We will not be found wanting in our efforts to reach a resolution,” he insisted.