Michelle O'Neill RollingNews.ie photo

O'Neill Reaches Out to DUP

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill has said that she wants to work in “partnership with the DUP” to deliver services for the public.

The First Minister Designate said that the democratic outcome of last year’s Assembly election must be respected and validated. Sinn Féin were returned as the largest party in the election.

At the weekend, DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson indicated that his party was preparing to return to the Assembly, 18 months after beginning its boycott of Stormont (See report in this week's print edition of the Echo).

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The party is currently in talks with the British government over addressing its concerns over the post-Brexit NI Protocol and the Windsor Framework which was negotiated between the UK and EU.

“I want to work in partnership with the DUP and others to deliver public services and provide the much-needed political leadership the public demand and deserve,” O'Neill said.

“The democratic outcome of the Assembly election must be respected. It must be validated. For not a month longer can this drift continue with nobody at the wheel while people lie crippled in pain waiting for treatment and surgery. 

“We need all those with a stake in our politics and this island including the two governments and all parties, not least the DUP, to get to work without delay and restore the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement and deliver for all our people.”

Last weekend Sinn Féin met with members of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee during a visit by them to Northern Ireland.

The party’s Brexit spokesperson, Declan Kearney MLA ,said he told the delegation there was huge potential for investors who wish to avail of access to the EU and UK market “but who are concerned by the ongoing political instability."

“I highlighted the huge harm being caused in our community and the economic difficulties being faced by local workers and families,” Kearney said.

“I strongly welcome that members of the committee restated their support for the Windsor Framework and the restoration of our political institutions.

“The Windsor Framework is now an integral part of the protocol and is widely supported across the north, in Westminster and the EU. 

“The British Government has made it very clear that further renegotiation of the Windsor Framework is not an option and that the matter is settled. This is the unambiguous position of the European Commission.

“We need an immediate return to power sharing and the North/South institutions to realise the full potential of our access to the British and EU markets, and create the political stability needed to begin addressing the crisis across our public services.”