Sinn Féin claim over Windsor Framework talks is ‘totally incorrect’ – NI Office

Sinn Fein had said the UK Government confirmed to the republican party’s leadership that “the Windsor Framework negotiation with the DUP is now over, and concluded.”

However, the NIO dismissed that assertion saying: “This is totally incorrect. Discussions with the DUP continue.”

The DUP backed up that statement by saying the party had indicated on Friday “there remains further work yet to be completed before we would consider negotiations with the UK Government concluded.”

A spokesman added: “The UK Government is aware of that. Sinn Fein has not been a part of the process and therefore regardless of what they are being told they will not be in a position to make pronouncements on the issues.”

The statement came ahead of a meeting with the main Stormont parties and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris at Hillsborough Castle on Monday.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said people are “getting over-excited” by the announcement of all-party talks, as more work remains to be done before a return to Stormont.

The DUP has made clear the meeting is separate to its own talks with the Government.

However, pressure is mounting from the other Stormont parties.

Alliance leader Naomi Long.

Alliance leader Naomi Long has said the NI Secretary must listen to the people of Northern Ireland instead of engaging “almost exclusively” with the DUP.

“While waiting for the Government and DUP to resolve this, our public finances and public services have been under unprecedented strain,” she said.

“Irrespective of whether the DUP intend to rejoin an Executive, those finances need to be addressed urgently and hopefully tomorrow is the start of a process to take that forward.

“The Government’s own calculations show NI is funded below need: we need to agree a fiscal floor to ensure finances are on a sustainable footing and a stabilisation and transformation fund to repair the damage inflicted by cuts and deliver more effectively for the future. Those are Alliance’s priorities.”

The east Belfast MLA added: “Equally, I will be making clear that, irrespective of the DUP’s position, reform of the institutions is essential for their long-term survival. Recent polls show 74% favour reform to ensure no single party can collapse Stormont again.

“After months of listening almost exclusively to DUP concerns, the Secretary of State now needs to listen to the people of NI who want effective, stable government and effective public services. That has to be the focus from here on.”


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