‘Political process in trouble’ – Adams (UTV)

The President of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams has said that the political process is in trouble.

The TD for Louth said that the process “faces its greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement negotiations in 1998.”

He blamed the so-called anti-Good Friday Agreement axis within unionism, the pro-unionist stance of the British secretary of state, and the refusal of Downing Street to own its obligation for the region’s problems.

“Most worryingly there is no evidence from Downing Street or the NIO or the Unionist leaderships of any likelihood of a real negotiation on all of these issues commencing in September,” Mr Adams said.

“This therefore presents a very significant challenge to everyone who wants to see progress and to all those who support the Good Friday and other agreements, this includes leaders of civic society, the community sector, the trade union movement, the business sector, as well as political parties.”

He continued: “The fact is that the anti-agreement axis has been very active in asserting a negative agenda. Too many in the pro-agreement axis, with some notable exceptions, have been passive. This includes the Irish government.”

Mr Adams said that the Tory-led government in London wants to impose changes to the welfare benefits system mirroring similar changes that have been introduced in England, Scotland and Wales.

He described the changes that have resulted in disastrous consequences for the disabled, the unemployed and those in low-paid jobs.

“These should be opposed by a united Executive. These changes are not about reform. They are about cuts and they are part of a Thatcherite agenda designed to dismantle the welfare state. And Sinn Féin will oppose them.”


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