- Height of folly to allow participants a veto over restoration of institutions
- Cool heads needed
- Need to inject trust into process
Ulster Unionist leader, Robin Swann MLA, said:
“Today`s events are extremely disappointing. It`s not what we wanted and it`s not what the people of Northern Ireland wanted. I believe that the majority of people voted at the last Assembly election for local politicians to take local decisions.
“Everyone should recognise that if a functioning Executive and Assembly are not in place and we go to direct rule, then they should not expect either to be back in place anytime soon. It is the height of folly to allow any of the participants to hold a veto over the formation of the devolved institutions. Unfortunately these are the direct out-workings of the St Andrews agreement.
“Whilst others may want to create some sort of pantomime in the Assembly this afternoon, I would urge everyone that cool heads are needed instead. To that end I have asked the Head of the Civil Service to call an immediate meeting of Party Leaders this afternoon to establish what can be salvaged. The Party leaders have not met as a group in a number of days and maybe it`s time to get to basics. We need to inject some trust into this process or else we are going to end up farther back than where we started. If there`s a chance that we can make progress, then we should take it.
“Our MLAs received a mandate to do their job and do what`s right for Northern Ireland and they stand ready and willing to fulfil those duties.”