SDLP: Calls on Political Leaders Do Not Gift Us With British Direct Rule This Christmas
The SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said:
“January will mark one full year without a government in Northern Ireland and our politics remains paralysed. Ahead of Christmas we have asked the leaders of Sinn Féin, the DUP and both Governments to reflect on where they have brought us. To acknowledge that 12 months without governance here is economically, socially and politically damaging.
“The SDLP warned a number of months ago that we were drifting towards direct rule due to the complete failure of the DUP and Sinn Féin to compromise to restore local government here. Let's be very clear about this - if it's not devolution, it's direct rule in the absence of joint stewardship.
"As I said in January, maintaining balance between the British and Irish traditions in Northern Ireland is what underpins all of our political agreements. In the absence of local institutions, the only way to achieve that balance means a structure in which both the Irish and British Governments hold joint authority over major political decisions in Northern Ireland.
“The politics of real partnership and reconciliation across this island remains the only workable solution to the political chaos which confronts us.
"30 years of harm and hurt will always return us to that same solution. It remains the only way our people can hope to see prosperity and a positive peace.
“This Christmas, the SDLP calls on the DUP, Sinn Féin, an Taoiseach and the Prime Minister, do not gift us with British Direct Rule.”