01 November 2017
The DUP’s East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said,
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
“SF collapsed our devolved government over ten months ago. They then produced a shopping list of preconditions before they would re-establish an Executive.
For ten months, SF has blocked key decisions being taken about Northern Ireland’s infrastructure development and reforms in our health and education services. For SF to then complain about the speed of progress, is nothing short of rank hypocrisy.
The DUP stands ready to form an Executive today. We want devolution. Arlene Foster has led our Talks team and is rightly frustrated that government is being held back by a narrow political agenda. We received an overwhelming mandate to ensure any deal was fair. That mandate has to be respected, just as we respect the mandate of others.
Decisions being taken in the House of Commons instead of at Stormont is not what we want but civil servants must have a legal basis to spend money. That is why the Secretary of State needs to set a budget. SF’s opposition to this is foolish. Day-to-day services should not be disrupted because of the Irish Language.
With regard to an Irish Language Act, it already receives ample public funding for those who wish to speak it or learn it. It already is catered for in ways that no other minority language is. We cannot and will not be party to an agreement that elevates the Irish language not only above all others, but above health, education and other vital public services.
We support Her Majesty’s Government safeguarding public spending in Northern Ireland but our goal is to ensure those decisions can be made at Stormont.”