Friday 12th October 2014, Belfast. The Green Party in Northern Ireland has expressed disappointment that the key players in the cross party talks have refused to compromise and reach agreement. Green Party Leader Steven Agnew MLA said: “These appear to have been Tower of Babel negotiations, where everyone was talking but nobody was listening. The objective of reaching a compromise to move Northern Ireland’s peace process forward seems to have been lost in favour of narrow party interests.
“Executive parties and even the British and Irish governments are hamstrung by their own agendas, making any kind of progress almost impossible. Compromise and negotiated settlements with an election looming are often viewed by parties as signs of weakness which will be rejected by their core voters. A deal based on compromise, give-and-take, something for everyone and everything for no one, may mean parties having to face a backlash from their core vote. “But the alternative is a further disillusionment, despair and distrust – building on the foundations of disappointment from the failed Haass process. Parties may protect their vote, but in turn they further damage the legitimacy of politics in Northern Ireland.
“Yet, often the people in Northern Ireland are way ahead of politicians in terms of vision and ambition. The Good Friday Agreement was testament to that. It was the peoples’ agreement which, through consensus, showed the citizens of Northern Ireland want something better. “The mutual vetoes negotiated as part of St Andrews meant that some political parties took that hope, that willingness to work together for a better future, and destroyed it for their own political gain.
“The Executive parties should have the confidence, vision and willingness to work together for the common good. If they can’t do that because of fear over their own position, maybe its time to let the people decide and give them back the power.
“I am calling on the Secretary of State to publish the best compromise and put it to a vote. If the five Executive parties can’t put the interests of the people of Northern Ireland ahead of their own then let the people have their say.
“Let us all decide if the compromises are worth making
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