London is not taking Stormont Shutdown seriously – Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has stated that the London government and the DUP need to step up to the plate and ensure that there is a functioning democracy in the north of Ireland. He has stated that Joint Authority should be constituted to get departmental decisions made now and to bring the DUP to the table. He has stated that Stormont needs to be reformed in order to prevent future stalemate and to help it engage with the all-Ireland challenges created by Brexit.
Deputy Tóibín stated:
“The London government, consumed with the Tory civil war on Brexit and dependent on the DUP for power, has not invested the necessary focus on power sharing in the north of Ireland. The DUP are the only party in the north, through their Confidence and Supply arrangement with the Tories, actually in power in the north. Neither the Tories nor the DUP have the necessary motivation to create the environment for power sharing to recommence. The Irish government, the American government, the European Union and the political parties in the north have a responsibility to provide the necessary pressure to make it happen.
The stalemate in Stormont has led to departments not making decisions. We have an increase in food poverty, housing poverty, health poverty in the north and we have an enterprise sector not getting the attention that it needs. Leo Varadkar recently cancelled millions of euro of investment into the Derry to Dublin Road. He gave the excuse of the absence of an Executive in the north for the withdrawal of funds.
In the last few days we have seen what happens when there is a political vacuum. The tragic loss of a well-respected, talented young journalist and campaigner on the streets of Derry show that political stalemate is not an option. We welcome Sinn Féin supporting our proposal to see Joint Authority constituted to fill this vacuum. The DUP will never come to the table unless there is a cost in staying out and departmental decisions have to be made now.
It is also important at this juncture to recognise that there is an inherent instability in Stormont as it is currently constituted. Aontú believe that it cannot be in the gift of one party to put power sharing into cold storage for years. Brexit has illustrated that Stormont must be credibly reformed to give voice to people in the north during this crisis and enable the north to engage with the all-Ireland challenges that Brexit creates”.