Mid Ulster SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has expressed his support for proposals put forward by the leadership of the SDLP and Fianna Fáil at the recent partnership launch in Belfast. McGlone added, “politics is changing across these islands, old responses to new challenges will no longer cut it. Politics has moved onto new ground and that new ground cries out for a politics of creativity and courage to deliver in the changing context we find ourselves in.”
McGlone commented, “The future we envisioned over twenty years ago, when the SDLP- alongside many other parties- delivered the Good Friday Agreement, has not yet come to pass. Division and deadlock have characterised the institutions that were built on hopes of a shared and prosperous future.
“This partnership is the beginning of a process. A process that will work to deliver a new Ireland envisioned by political giants such a Hume and Lemass.
“Through a programme of joint working groups, research and public engagement we will work with Fianna Fáil on proposing alternatives for critical issues, such as our stagnant economy, investment along the border regions, better public services and all-Ireland services post-Brexit. Obviously Brexit will be the first priority and together we will continue to push for the Backstop and against the prospect of a return to a hard border.
“Together, we have once again committed to uniting our people here. And only through ‘change’ can we reconcile our society and move forward into a brighter future. That future will not be met by an old and narrow vision of Ireland and our people; but rather a forward facing, robust and dynamic initiative, intent on putting people before politics, has the real potential to deliver just that.
“The SDLP have always made hard choices for the betterment of all our people, even when those choices cost us dear. I’d encourage people to be open minded about this process whilst reflecting upon where we are now. Twenty years ago, through political partnership that reached beyond on our own party, we brought peace to our people. Twenty years on, we are once again determined in our resolve to deliver a type of shared and prosperous Ireland that people here are so deserving off.
“I look forward to working with Fianna Fáil colleagues as we work together for all the people of this island.”