26 April 2019
DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA has welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to restore devolution and assured the Government that the DUP stands ready to set up the Assembly today without pre-conditions alongside a parallel talks process.
Mrs Foster said,
“The DUP will not be found wanting in any talks process but our preference would be for the Assembly to be restored and have the talks process in parallel.
There is incredible frustration in Northern Ireland at the lack of an Assembly. Key reforms for our hospitals and schools are gathering dust on the shelves. My message on the doorsteps has been that we stand ready to form the Assembly and Executive immediately.
Whilst we have delivered additional money for Northern Ireland through our relationship with the Government in London, we could do so much more with a functioning Assembly.
Talks should respect the three stranded approach and be focused on delivering a fair and balanced deal that both unionists and nationalists can support. Anyone who thinks agreement can be reached through a one-sided wish-list being implemented is not routed in reality.
As I said in my conference speech last year, I will encourage the full involvement of all parties capable of holding Ministerial Office, and want their contribution considered and acted upon, on its merits.
We need a sustainable Assembly and that is best delivered through working together with the other parties where we respect each other’s policies and mandates.”