Belfast Telegraph

Jeffrey Donaldson: Not right for Gerry Adams to set Stormont talks ultimatum

The DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said Gerry Adams can not dictate ultimatums ahead of this Monday's talks deadlines.

The political parties have been locked in talks for almost three weeks. On Monday nominations have to be made to the posts of First and deputy First Minister.

Should that not happen, then the Secretary of State will be forced to call an election, although there has been speculation he could take another option.

Sinn Fein has said it will not go into government with Arlene Foster as long as the RHI inquiry continues.

On Wednesday night Gerry Adams said it was possible for agreement to be reached in the coming days. He said the talks were about implementation and could not be "continuous negotiation".

"The deadline is Monday and Sinn Fein is opposed to any extension," he said.

How do Sinn Fein intend to influence decisions on Brexit? Sir Jeffrey Donaldson


More: SF is opposed to extending Monday's deadline: Adams

Reacting on the Stephen Nolan BBC Radio Ulster show, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said: "With the greatest respect to Gerry Adams, he is not Secretary of State, he is not the UK government and he is not even a member of the Northern Ireland government, he is the leader of Sinn Fein and we understand that.

"The decision on when these discussions will end is not for one party and I don't think it is right for Gerry Adams to set ultimatums and create this kind of situation.

"If we need a few extra days to get an agreement does anyone believe that in the context of over 30 years of our troubled past that it shouldn't take an extra few days, if that's what it requires?"

The DUP MP added: "Sinn Fein took the decision to bring the government down and if they take the decision to pull the plug now it will show people how committed they are to stable government in Northern Ireland.

"And a government at a time when big decisions are going to be taken on our futures. If they pull the plug, where is the voice for Northern Ireland? We will do our best from Westminster but they don't take their seats.

"So you are in a situation where the second biggest party in Northern Ireland has no say. How do they intend to influence the decisions on Brexit?"

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