The Ulster Unionist Party has called for the upcoming round of talks to focus on finding a resolution to the current stalemate on contentious parades.
Tom Elliott MLA said:
“We owe it to the people of Northern Ireland to do all we can to ensure that we have a peaceful summer. That is why over the next number of days we would like to deal with parading first; focusing on resolving areas where there is still deadlock, such as the 12th of July feeder parade passing by the Ardoyne shops. This is particularly urgent given that the issues surrounding last year’s parade remain unresolved.
“We have repeatedly called for Parades & Protests, Flags and Dealing with the Past to be decoupled. Surely it would be positive for the public to see us reach agreement on parades & protests before the summer, rather than the five parties continuing to remain stuck on the three issues. This would then allow us to move to Flags and Dealing with the Past knowing that we have banked Parades & Protests.
“In the current format of ‘nothing’s agreed until everything is agreed’ we are no closer to reaching agreement than when Richard Haass was first invited to Northern Ireland a year ago.’