David Cameron’s government must recognise the unique difficulties facing the Stormont Executive if the power sharing institutions are to survive, Martin McGuinness has said.
Speaking afterwards, the Sinn Féin MLA and Deputy First Minister called for a renewed effort to restore the political and economic viability of the political institutions.
“Today’s engagement was useful and I believe that David Cameron can be in no doubt about the seriousness of the crisis we are facing,” he commented. “The political structures created by the Good Friday Agreement are at the point of imminent collapse due to the British Government’s austerity agenda.
“Sinn Féin will do everything in our power to prevent a collapse from happening. Others – particularly the British Government – must do the same.
“But for the institutions to survive, they need to deliver for all citizens, be they unionists, republicans or others. That requires a workable budget and a new approach and new investment from Westminster.
“The British Government needs to accept the special circumstances of the north, as a society coming out of conflict, which lasted for almost 30 years.
“If we are to deliver for citizens, consolidate and build on the peace, create a peace dividend, which is tangible in deprived communities which suffered most as a result of the conflict, then the Executive needs the tools and the resources to address these deep-seated issues.
“Successive British governments invested enormous, at times limitless, resources in pursuing a military agenda. They now need to bring a similar commitment to building a still fragile peace.”