Inclusive, sustainable government requires an end to denial of rights – McDonald

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Speaking after she led a party delegation including Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill and Conor Murphy MLA during an hour-long meeting with the new British Secretary of State Julian Smith Sinn Féin Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald said:

“We stepped through all the outstanding rights issues with the new British Secretary of State and the issues which need to be resolved to ensure that the political institutions can be restored.

“It is crucial that we deliver inclusive, sustainable and good government for every citizen living in this part of Ireland.

“Sinn Féin made it clear there is a need to pick up momentum in the talks and we reminded him of his obligations to act with the rigorous impartiality required by the Good Friday Agreement.

“We challenged him on the cosy relationship between his party and the DUP. 

“There must be an end to the dancing to the DUP agenda which has been about denying rights and creating a toxic political environment. 

“We will put his commitment to be evenhanded to the test in the coming weeks.

“We told Mr Smith that Ireland will not be collateral damage in a Tory Brexit and that the DUP don’t speak for the majority of people, workers and businesses in the north who voted to remain.

“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to a reckless no-deal Brexit which jeopardises jobs, trade and political progress.

“We told him it is Sinn Féin’s position that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the people should be given an opportunity to vote for which union they want to be a part of in a unity referendum.

“And we pressed him to clarify for the people how in fact that unity referendum would be actioned as per the Good Friday Agreement.”