SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the restoration of the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland must be a new start for everyone who lives here.
The Foyle MP was speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon where he called for the British Government to engage with Executive parties, the new incoming Opposition at Stormont and the Irish Government to reform the rules of government to ensure that the responsibility to govern and meet the needs of people across the North can never be abdicated by one party again.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Today is a better day for people in Northern Ireland than yesterday was. It has been a long time coming but the restoration of devolution returns power to local political leaders charged with meeting the needs of people who are funding it really tough right now.
“It is also worth reflecting on the fact that in a few days we may have, for the first time, united Ireland advocates in the positions of First Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Regardless of the limitations on function, that is a moment worth pausing to consider and represents just how far our democracy has come.
“This must be a new start for everyone across the North. The politics of the past, the obsession with division and deadlock, must be washed away. We all have to make this work.
“That is why I have called on the British Government to open discussions with the Executive parties, the incoming new Opposition and the Irish Government on reform of the democratic institutions. The power and potential of devolved government should be a source of pride and responsibility - it is what we seek at every election. No one party should be allowed to shatter that potential and leave our society adrift again.
“There is no time to waste now. The deal has been done. Let’s get to work.”