Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein accuse Prime Minister May of visiting Belfast to pick a fight

 

Prime Minister Theresa May during her speech at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photo credit: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May during her speech at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Photo credit: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster listens as Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a keynote speech on Brexit at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on July 20, 2018. With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Charles McQuillanCHARLES MCQUILLAN/AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Theresa May during her speech at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast where she urged the European Union to "evolve" its position on Brexit and not fall back on "unworkable" ideas. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 20, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May during her speech at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast where she urged the European Union to "evolve" its position on Brexit and not fall back on "unworkable" ideas. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 20, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 20: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (C) talks with people from the Belfast Youth Forum during her visit to the Crescent Arts Centre on July 20, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March. (Photo by Paul Faith - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 20: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (C) talks with people from the Belfast Youth Forum during her visit to the Crescent Arts Centre on July 20, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March. (Photo by Paul Faith - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 20: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (3L) talks with people from the Belfast Youth Forum during her visit to the Crescent Arts Centre on July 20, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With a trip to Northern Ireland this week, May began a tour of Britain to convince voters to back her blueprint for close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next March. (Photo by Paul Faith - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Credit: PA.
Protestors call for the Irish language to be recognised outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, ahead of the arrival of Prime Minister Theresa May. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 20, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Protesters voice their concerns about gay marriage and the Irish border outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mrs May speaks to workers at the factory
Mrs May speaks to workers at the factory
Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Pic: Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May and DUP leader Arlene Foster visit Belleek Pottery in Co Fermanagh yesterday
Mrs May is greeted by Mrs Foster after her arrival
Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for a visit to the Belleek pottery factory
A man holds a sign saying ‘customs stop’ written in both English and Irish as Theresa May leaves

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald has accused Prime Minister Theresa May of visiting Northern Ireland "to pick a fight".

Mrs McDonald was speaking as the Prime Minister gave a speech in Belfast to political leaders and the business community.

Rounding off a two-day visit to Northern Ireland, Mrs May expressed disappointment that the region has been without devolved government for more than 18 months.

Speaking at the Waterfront Hall on Friday, Mrs May told the audience – which included DUP leader Arlene Foster and representatives from the Ulster Unionist Party, SDLP and Alliance – that power-sharing talks must restart as soon as possible.

Sinn Fein did not attend the event.

The Prime Minister met a Sinn Fein delegation earlier on Friday.

PM Theresa May’s Speech in Belfast Waterfront Hall

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Friday, July 20, 2018

Mrs McDonald described their meeting as a “very challenging one”, and accused Mrs May of “coming to pick a fight with Ireland and to pick a fight with the European Union”.

"It is clear that she is not listening to community and business interests and seeks only to reassure the DUP," the Sinn Fein leader said.

“Her approach today has been provocative, to set aside her agreement with the EU from December and to walk away from a backstop. 

“Theresa May claims to want to avoid a hard border in Ireland, while pursuing a policy that will deliver a hard border. "

Protesters from both the victims community and those calling for an Irish language act for Northern Ireland gathered outside the hall ahead of Mrs May’s arrival.

They missed their opportunity to confront the Prime Minister as she entered the building through a different door.

However she was earlier taken to task by teenagers from the Belfast Youth Forum during her visit to the Crescent Art Centre.

One boy brought up the confidence and supply arrangement between the DUP and the Conservative Party.

He told her: “I think your coalition infringes people’s rights here.”

Mrs May replied: “In government, we work for and represent all communities.”

She left the art centre to shouts of “Redress now!” from crowds protesting on behalf of victims of state institutional abuse.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph