Sinn Féin protests to Theresa May over Tory-DUP link

Violet Powell
June 28, 2017

Ahead of the meeting with May, Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said that any deal between the Conservatives and the DUP in Westminster can not be allowed to stand in the way of the Good Friday Agreement, which sets out the power-sharing process in Northern Ireland.

"No agreement yet between Conservatives and DUP, despite Leader of the House confirming Queen's Speech next Wed", Sky's Ireland Correspondent wrote on Twitter.

Their worry is that it may make the negotiations a little skewed as it may feel like the British government is backing the DUP in talks rather than being objective.

He claimed such a deal could endanger the peace process.

Mr Eastwood made a number of proposals to Theresa May aimed at restoring power sharing government in Northern Ireland.

Mrs May's deal with the DUP threatened her government's role as "an honest broker" between unionists and republicans in Belfast, wrote Jonathan Powell, the British government's chief negotiator in Ireland from 1997 to 2007, in the Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

Sinn Féin Leader in the north, Michelle O'Neill, insisted that any DUP-Tory arrangement should not be allowed to undermine the peace process.

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May does not necessarily need a firm deal from the DUP before opening parliament and might hope that she would receive the necessary backing anyway.

"Theresa May needs to cut a deal and the parties in Northern Ireland, I think, want to see their institutions restored".

Speaking on The View programme on Thursday night, Mr Smith said he sensed a "willingness" among the parties to come to an agreement before the deadline on 29 June.

"Everyone fears these talks of a hard border", he said, "but I agree it must be a soft border that will ensure the goods from both countries can move easily between them".

"The power-sharing institutions collapsed because of the DUP's RHI financial scandal and the refusal of previous Tory governments and the DUP to implement previous agreements".

It comes amid concerns the Government will compromise its stated impartiality in the region if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster.

As I have said so often before we are fortunate to live in a handsome part of the world and its people have tremendous qualities which are brought to the fore by constructive leadership.

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