Aontú Representative for West Belfast Gerard Herman has dismissed calls for a return to direct rule from Westminster
Speaking today, Gerard Herdman said “Calls for a return to direct rule from London is an affront to the principles of the Good Friday Agreement and to the democratic will of the people of the North. Aontú has consistently stressed the need for urgent reform to the Stormont institutions. Failure to do this, cannot result in a default to direct rule. The Dublin Government must recognise it’s role within the Good Friday Agreement and push for joint authority in the event reform fails.”
Herdman continued “Voters in the north are democratically disenfranchised by the antics of the DUP. The DUP’s refusal to share power with Nationalists has led to a stalemate that is sucking money out of voter’s pockets. Strand two of the Good Friday agreement places a moral responsibility on the Dublin government to intervene if the administration here becomes unworkable. The Irish Government has a duty as a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and must support the stabilisation of essential services in North.”
“Britain has consistently failed as a capable guarantor of the principles of the agreement, this week alone, the Tory party has imploded and is unable to provide pragmatic leadership. The Conservatives have collapsed the British economy, increasing the financial burden on people, people who are already struggling. This will have a knock on effect on other essential services such as health and housing. At the same time, the DUP continue to run from demographic changes, they increasingly rely on rear-guard action against the protocol, leaving Stormont paralysed. If the DUP won’t play ball then it is time to put a new team on the pitch.”
Herdman continued “The GFA was supposed to provide a framework of governance that would deal with bread and butter issues. The DUP has frustrated cooperation since the Assembly’s inception. The increased momentum toward a united Ireland, helped by their disastrous backing for Brexit, has spooked them into shutting off any semblance of democracy. Their intransigence should no longer be tolerated, if they refuse to work the agreement then it is time to reform it.”
“Aontú is calling on the Irish government to prevent a default to direct rule for Britain. The British and Irish government must push for reform of Stormont to make the institution cant be crashed again. If this fails, joint authority must be established. The DUP see themselves as the defenders of the Union. Nationalists see them as inadvertent cheerleaders for a united Ireland. If they won’t cooperate with their neighbours to make pragmatic day-to-day decisions that help us all, then they should stand aside and let others do it for them.” Concluded Herdman.