Ritchie – ‘SDLP strengthening ties with Republic’

Newry Times News Posted by
Friday, April 20th, 2012

SDLP Intergovernmental Relations spokesperson Margaret Ritchie has said the party is seeking to strengthen North-South cooperation on a variety of issues as well as making best use of cross-border bodies. The South Down MP was speaking after she and Seán Rogers MLA met with representatives of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, including chairman Charles Flanagan TD.

Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said: “Seán and I had a very useful and constructive meeting with Fine Gael where we discussed a variety of issues including the Constitutional Convention, Commemorations, North-South bodies including the Parliamentary Forum and Ministerial Council and the North-South review. We also discussed other key cross-border issues including increasing cooperation on telecommunications. The SDLP is committed to increasing and strengthening its ties with Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Irish Labour Party as the principal parties of government and opposition in the Oireachtas.”

She continued, “We as a party believe that the key to creating a prosperous Ireland is for there to be strong ties between the governments in the North and South and using each others good practice to benefit each institution. Creating sustainable prosperity for all is a key plank to achieving true reconciliation on this island, and it is the prospect of that long-term growth that has allowed us to support the ‘Yes’ campaign on the new EU treaty while seeking strenuous negotiations to militate against unfettered austerity.”

“We do not necessarily align ourselves to all the policies of the parties we work with, but we chart a clear course – to work in partnership with our colleagues in the Republic for the benefit of all, rather than the tired Sinn Féin tactics of playing two roles, positing themselves as the Robin Hood of the Republic while acting as the Tories’ Sherriff of Nottingham at Stormont,” she added.

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