11/10/2018

Hillary Clinton Urges NI Politicians To Unite In Face Of Brexit

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has urged Northern Ireland's assembly members to form an interim government in order to navigate the Brexit process.

She was giving an address at Queen's University as she received an honorary degree. Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O'Neill and former first minister Peter Robinson were in the audience.

Power-sharing collapsed in January 2017 and devolved government has not been functioning since.

Mrs Clinton urged politicians to "put their quarrels aside" in the face of Brexit.
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"I wonder if it would be possible for the people of Northern Ireland and those who represent them both in Westminster and here could figure out a way to form an interim community government for the purposes of securing the best possible Brexit outcome for Northern Ireland," she said.

The former presidential candidate also warned that Northern Ireland is facing "consequential decisions" as Brexit looms.

"How do you make sure your achievements over these past 20 years are solidified and extended at this moment of challenge and uncertainty? And that they continue to provide for peace, prosperity and progress?"

Mrs Clinton suggested an interim government to provide a "unified voice" which could be "valuable in the difficult days ahead".

"The policy disagreements dividing your political parties are deeply felt but the stakes of the Brexit process go way beyond politics as usual," she added.

Mrs Clinton ended her speech by saying that the people of Northern Ireland deserve "peace not paralysis".

(JG/MH)

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