Wednesday 14 February 2018 / 6:11 PM Northern Ireland / Owen Smith

Owen Smith comments on collapse of talks in Northern Ireland

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, commenting on the collapse of talks in Northern Ireland, said:

“This is desperately disappointing news, especially as there had been widespread hope last week that a deal might be reached.

“It seems clear, however, that the cause of the breakdown was the DUP’s unwillingness to accept legislation to support the Irish language or marriage equality. Their lack of leadership on these issues, despite their powerful position in Stormont and Westminster, leaves Northern Ireland without an accountable government or a voice in the Brexit negotiations.

“Karen Bradley will now have to explain how she hopes to get the DUP back to the table, and if that proves impossible, how she is going to take forward issues such as equal marriage, as well as dealing with tough decisions on health, education and infrastructure that have been left unresolved for over 400 days.”