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Alliance launches proposals aimed to break the ongoing political impasse

March 22, 2018 10:39 AM

Next Steps Forward coverAlliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said new proposals published by her party can help break the ongoing impasse here by helping rebuild political relationships and trust.

She was speaking as the party launched its paper Next Steps Forward - a set of proposals aiming to re-inject momentum into the process to restore devolution and bring stability to local politics.

Suggestions in the paper include forming a cross-party Brexit Committee to articulate local interests, reconstituting Assembly Committees, reconvening the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, re-establishing the Policing Board and progressing legislation which was at an advanced stage before the collapse of power-sharing, all in parallel with a reconfigured talks process.

"There is no doubt Northern Ireland finds itself in a challenging situation, without devolution and voiceless on Brexit. But Alliance believes a positive vision, bold ideas and strong leadership is the only way to move forward and respect the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement," said Mrs Long.

"These proposals should not be seen as an end in themselves, but as a positive step forward towards a restored, fully functioning and effective Assembly and Executive. Through them, it is possible to re-establish devolution by creating mechanisms to break the deadlock, dealing with some of the most contentious issues at Westminster, restarting and reshaping talks and establishing parallel arrangements to enable key decisions to be progressed.

"It would also allow MLAs and parties to re-engage on issues of substance and take on more responsibilities, in areas of real public concern such as health and education, while helping clear the backlog of decision-making which has developed during suspension, all the while creating space to perhaps reach broader political agreement by rebuilding relationships and trust.

"Despite the setbacks and frustrations caused by the ongoing political impasse, Alliance remains focused on how together we can take the next steps forward Northern Ireland needs to fulfil our potential and deliver for everyone."
Alliance's full proposals can be viewed here.

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