Call For Government Intervention If Deal Is Not Reached

The SDLP is calling on the UK and Irish Governments to intervene if a deal to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland is not reached this week.

Leader of the party, Colum Eastwood, said if the two main parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, fail to reach an agreement, both governments should intervene and publish their own joint proposals on what they believe to be a fair deal and compromise.

He said: "As formal talks recommence though, the question remains whether this is the beginning of positive choreography to finally do the deal or if it is merely positive choreography to avoid blame if the process collapses once more.

"As crises build in our health and education services, the SDLP does not believe it is credible or sustainable to continue to leave the success or failure of this process solely in the hands of the DUP and Sinn Féin.

"We acknowledge that these parties have the big mandates from the electorate but they do not have a mandate to hold the North ransom in a position of permanent stalemate.

"I am therefore proposing that if it becomes clear that the DUP and Sinn Féin are incapable of getting a deal over the line, both governments should publicly place their own joint proposals on the table.

"This joint proposal would represent their joint view on what they believe to be a fair deal and compromise for all the people of Northern Ireland. They should then publicly challenge all the parties to sign up to it or reject it.

"This intervention by the co-guarantors of our political agreements would also bring focus to the real priority of finally getting a government formed which can begin to tackle hospital waiting lists, school budget cuts and the growing numbers of families without a home."


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