Sinn Fein: May breaking peace deal
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams (pictured) says the acting UK prime minister, Theresa May, is breaching the 1998 Good Friday Agreement by trying to patch up a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Adams met May at Downing Street along with other party leaders.
Afterwards, Adams said: “We told her very directly that she was in breach of the Good Friday Agreement, and we itemised those matters in which she was in default in relation to that agreement.”
He said they discussed the concept of a referendum on a united Ireland. Sinn Fein, previously referred to as the political wing of the IRA, has always argued that any referendum should include voters from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Enfeebled May is trying to establish a “confidence and supply” arrangement with the DUP to give her a majority in the House of Commons and enable her to form a government.
May has told representatives from Northern Ireland’s parties that she will publish full details of any deal agreed with the DUP.
She also held separate meetings with the DUP, the centrist Social Democratic and Labour Party, the Ulster Unionists and Alliance.
Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said: “One thing we have made clear to the prime minister is that we are concerned that any deal reached is open and transparent and that everybody gets to see the entire negotiation.”
Talks between the Conservatives and the DUP are reportedly progressing well, although no deal is expected until next week, when talks with the EU are due to start.
A Conservative Party source said: “Both parties are committed to strengthening the union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole country. However, whilst talks are ongoing, it is important the government gets on with its business and we are confident there will be sufficient support across the house for passing the Queen’s Speech.” The speech, which sets out the government’s legislative agenda, is due to be given on Wednesday.
It is argued that any deal with the DUP would leave May in breach of its duties under the power-sharing arrangement.
The deal designates that the London government has the role of broker between Irish republicans and the unionist community. Adams said this position would be compromised if May was dependent politically on the DUP.
Northern Ireland voted remain in the European Union referendum on June 23 last year. The issue of re-establishing a hard border is among the first items to be agreed when talks begin in Brussels next week.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams. Source: Flickr