10 January 2018
After meeting Karen Bradley MP, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA said,
“It was incredibly useful to meet the Secretary of State so quickly after her appointment.
The Secretary of State told us that her priority is to see the restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland. I welcome this. The DUP shares this priority.
We have set no preconditions or red-lines and want to see an Executive restored immediately. Indeed, we were ready to form an Executive last March.
I hope that all other parties will also say they will put the needs of our health service, schools, roads and the economy ahead of their own party political demands.
We need to have key policy decisions taken. Civil servants do a vital job administering decisions but government Departments need to have a Minister in place to set policy direction. Everyone in Northern Ireland is suffering because of the current vacuum. This cannot continue.
We have made it clear to the Secretary of State that if Sinn Fein continues to block the restoration of devolution then a return to Direct Rule is an unfortunate, but inevitable consequence and the Government must move to appoint Ministers.”