Speaking in response to research into the views of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms in the north by the Federation of Master Builders Sinn Féin’s Raymond McCartney MLA said:
“Last week Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald held a series of meetings with business and industry leaders including Retail NI, the CBI and the Institute of Directors.
“They made it clear that Sinn Féin is committed to the re-establishment of the power sharing institutions.
“We believe that locally elected ministers are best placed to deliver public services, prioritise our own political agenda and with the politics of Brexit also adding to the uncertainty within the sector protect Irish interests north and south.
“Brexit will be bad for the economy on this island, bad for business and investment, bad for farmers, bad for the environment, bad for workers’ and human rights regardless of whatever outcome is reached in the negotiations.
“The only defence against the negative impact of Brexit is for the north to remain in the single market and customs union.
“However, the political institutions must be restored on the basis of genuine power sharing and equality and respect for all.
“The DUP should end its blockade on the delivery of rights enjoyed by citizens everywhere else in these islands, marriage rights, language rights, women’s rights and the right to a legacy inquest.
“The British government must also end its ‘do-nothing’ approach to restoring the institutions as a result of its toxic pact with the DUP and act with the rigorous impartiality required by the Good Friday Agreement.
“Both the British and Irish governments have a responsibility as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement to ensure citizens in the north have an equivalence of rights and they must use the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference to map out a way forward.”