February’s ‘agreement’ not on the table in Stormont talks, says DUP’s Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster and MP Emma Little-Pengelly at Storming on Monday. Credit: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said a rumoured “agreement” made between parties last February cannot form the basis for the latest round of Stormont talks.

Mrs Foster was speaking following a meeting between parties at Stormont on Monday, with talks now in their fourth week.

In February last year, it was widely reported that Sinn Fein and the DUP had reached agreement on a deal to restore power sharing.

May and Varadkar call for Stormont talks to ‘intensify’
Since the collapse of the institutions more than two years ago, one of the main sticking points in the negotiations was Sinn Fein’s demand for an Irish Language Act.

Last February it was thought a three-stranded approach to dealing with the issue was finally settled on by the two parties.

It was reported that legislation was agreed comprising an Irish Language Act, an Ulster Scots Act and a broader Culture and Respect Act, however DUP leader Arlene Foster later publicly denied such a deal had been made.

Following Monday’s meeting, Mrs Foster reiterated her view that there was never any agreement and stated what was proposed could not form the basis for the current round of talks.

“Well of course that wasn’t an agreement. As we all know to get an agreement everybody has to agree, and there wasn’t an agreement last February. Very publicly there wasn’t an agreement,” she said.

“Obviously what we want to do is find a way forward that everybody is comfortable with, that everybody can subscribe to and that’s what we’re engaged in at the moment.”

The DUP leader said the party was “constructively engaging” in the talks.

“I very much hope that we can continue in the constructive way that we have been engaging and we can find a way forward,” she said.

“We are up for finding a way forward as quickly as possible. It has to be a balanced way forward and one that everyone in society can sign up to.”

Last week, the issue of an Irish Language Act made headlines again after more than 200 figures from the worlds of sport, music and politics signed an open letter to Leo Varadkar and Theresa May calling for legislation to be brought forward.

On Monday, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill hinted that Irish language legislation is still a red line for the party.

“It is now time to move beyond that constructive engagement to actually delivering to bring about an Assembly and Executive again,” she said.

“Success would look like an Executive and Assembly that delivers for all citizens and implementation of previous agreements. That is what we are determined to achieve in this new phase.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Andrew Madden for the original story

Author: seachranaidhe1

About Me I studied for six months training and became certified in Exam 070-271 in May 2010 and shortly after that became certifed in Exam 070-272. I scored highly in both Exams and hope to upgrade my path to M.C.S.A. ( Server Administrator ) in the near future.I also hold Level 2 Qualifications in three subjects Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Spreedsheets. I have also expereance with Web Design using Microsoft Front-Page.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.