Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, has called on the political parties involved in the talks to put the greater good at the heart of deliberations and stop focusing on what is good for their party political interests.
Mr Nesbitt said:
“Sinn Fein attacked us yesterday and the DUP are attacking us today. I think that tells you all you need to know about the fact that Peter and Martin are back in each other`s arms politically and also our firm and principled stand is irritating the two big parties who are clearly busting to do a side deal at Stormont Castle.
“We will remain in the talks at Stormont House because it looks as if we’ve got a week or two, maximum, to go. But we will not be supporting handing out the begging bowl to London again because we are proud people and I think most people in Northern Ireland are proud people. We will not be shouldering our children with another £2 billion of debt. We will not be supporting the deputy First Minister appointing the Director of the Historical Investigations Unit, not least as that panel report suggests the deputy First Minister takes his direction from the Army Council of the IRA.
“There are certain other issues that have huge impact that give us pause for concern, but we will stick in and do what`s right for the people of Northern Ireland because we believe that these talks will only succeed if we put our mind on the greater good and not where the DUP and Sinn Fein are currently focussed, which is on what is good for them.
“Peter Robinson`s party stood one mile down Prince of Wales Avenue 17 years ago on the far side of the barriers crying ‘lundy’ and ‘traitor’ at the party which got these institutions up and running; and we are now fighting hard to keep them up and running. We are doing so in the five party talks at Stormont House and not the two party carve-up that he`s engaged in at the Castle.”