UUP: Brokenshire needs to ‘take a grip’ of the situation

UUP MP Tom Elliott
UUP MP Tom Elliott

The Secretary of State James Brokenshire needs to “take a grip” of the situation in Northern Ireland rather than let talks “drift along”, UUP MP Tom Elliott has said.

“What we suspected is now clear and has been articulated,” Mr Elliott said. “This was a shambolic process. The DUP and Sinn Fein are incapable of doing a deal on their own although that shouldn`t be a surprise to anyone.”

He continued: “The Secretary of State was weak in letting the talks drift along and appears to have seen his role as a facilitator rather than as a convenor. He needs to take a grip of the situation which now confronts us and should not allow the largest parties to dictate the agenda or timing of progress. We need to change the way we do business so that the devolved institutions remain stable.

“If we are going to have a further set of negotiations we must have a structured process with a proper agenda including cleaning up Stormont, the management of the Executive and the Definition of a Victim.

“As regards other issues, the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition is already looking at the Irish Language. Their interim report is due soon with the final report later this calendar year. Given the Commission is a product of previous DUP/Sinn Fein led agreements, it should be allowed to report. It would be madness to disregard a process of their own making.”