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Return of direct rule in the North coming at worst possible time - Howlin

13 November 2017

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Labour Party Leader and Spokesperson on Northern Ireland, Brendan Howlin TD, has said that the effective return of direct rule in the North is coming at the worst possible time.

Deputy Howlin said:

“After months of negotiations and deadlines being extended and re-extended, a budget is now being imposed on Northern Ireland by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire. This is the return of direct rule in all but name.

"This is a major setback in the embedding of democracy in the North, and it couldn't be happening at a worse time. As Brexit veers off the rails, the need for a voice for the people of Northern Ireland is clear. And the implementation of a budget imposed by a Conservative Government propped up by the DUP will certainly not benefit people and communities in the North.

“I have called over recent weeks for Taoiseach Varadkar and Prime Minister May, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, to personally involve themselves in discussions regarding Northern Ireland. Only they can explain why they failed to do so.

"The people of Northern Ireland have already been left without a functioning Executive for ten months. With only the DUP represented in Westminster, they will also be left without a voice during the ongoing debates on Brexit. There is too much at stake for the people of Northern Ireland to allow this position to remain.”