15/02/2018 The View


15/02/2018

Mark Carruthers and guests review the week's political events from Stormont and Westminster and follow the highs and lows of the political week.


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Transcript


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When is an agreement

not an agreement?

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On the one hand Sinn Fein

claims a deal was done,

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but not so says the DUP.

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So where does the truth lie?

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And does anyone, anywhere,

know what happens next?

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Welcome to The View.

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Tonight - the talks process that

choked on a language law.

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We'll hear from the DUP

and Sinn Fein on why they couldn't

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strike a deal and exactly

what the stumbling blocks were.

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We'll also speak to the other main

party leaders to hear

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whether they think the prospect

of a deal any time soon

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is dead in the water.

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And "making an accomodation"

in Commentators' Corner

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are Fionnuala O Connor

and Alex Kane.

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Hello.

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On Monday the Prime Minister

and the Taoiseach arrived in Belfast

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hoping to endorse a deal to restore

Stormont.

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Yet, a little over 48 hours later,

the plug was well and truly pulled

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by the DUP, the devolved government

here left languishing

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on life support.

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It's been an eventful week,

even by the standards

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of Northern Ireland politics.

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The soundings from both in

Gloucester and Mr McDonald were

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positive and I am hoping they can

make an accommodation in the days

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ahead.

Good evening. Today I have

been meeting with the leaders of the

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main parties involved in the talks

and I have urged them to make one

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final push for the sake of the

people of Northern Ireland.

There is

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not a deal yet. What there is is

very good progress and we will keep

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at it and continue to work on that

progress and that is why we are here

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today.

We are not exactly they're

just yet, but there is nothing

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insurmountable if there is the

political will, if there is the

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political will.

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There will not be a freestanding

Irish language act. There will not

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be compulsory Irish in schools,

there will not be quoted in the

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civil service and there will not be

bilingual directional signs.

Now is

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the time for decisiveness and

leadership and we cannot be

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distracted. In other words, the DUP

have to make up their mind.

It is

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unfortunate where we have ended up

in the position where we are, we are

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not able to have an Executive at

this time.

I am sure we had a way

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forward on all the issues and we had

an accommodation.

Michelle O'Neill

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making her party's position clear, a

deal was on the table.

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And this afternoon the first details

of that draft agreement began

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to emerge at a Sinn Fein press

conference at Stormont.

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We had a draft agreement by the end

of last week. At that time we

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advised the leadership that the deal

should be closed before those

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opposed to it could unpick

everything we had achieved. We made

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it clear that if there was a delay,

that there was every chance that the

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package would unravel. And so it

came to pass. The DUP failed to

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close the deal and then went on to

collapse the talks process. A lot of

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mistruths and inaccuracies have been

peddled about the content of the

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draft agreement. So, for the record,

the draft agreement included an

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Irish language act, and altered

Scots actor, and respecting language

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and diversity act. The Irish

language act included provision for

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the official recognition of Irish

and the creation of an Irish

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language commissioner. The repeal of

the ban of Irish in the course was

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also to be legislated for. Let me

make it clear, at no stage was it

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envisaged to make Irish compulsory

for anybody or to apply quotas to

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the public services. These were not

considerations. There was no meeting

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of minds on marriage equality. We

did, however, anticipate that the

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issue would be fully considered by

an incoming Assembly in the form of

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a private member's bill and it was

acknowledged that no party alone

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could table a petition of concern.

There was agreement to review the

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petition of concern and to establish

a committee to look at the bill of

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rights. Separate from the agreement

between the DUP, Sinn Fein had and

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has a commitment from the British

Government to put to consultation

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the legacy mechanisms agreed at

Stormont house and, crucially, to

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release the funding requested by the

Lord Justice, the Lord Chief

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Justice, for coroners' chorus. Sinn

Fein accepted in the draft agreement

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the DUP proposal on the stability of

the institutions. There was

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agreement that the British

Government will legislate so that

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the Justice Minister will be elected

in the same manner as other

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ministers, that is to say following

the Assembly elections in 2022. We

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understood above all else that we

had a deal. We understood that we

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had landed on a respectable,

workable accommodation. From what I

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have told you, you will gather we

did not get it on your own way. You

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never expect that to happen. We did

make room for issues like the

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sustainability piece which was

critical. We were

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critical. We were told that about

all the package of legislation that

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contains the Irish language

legislation also had the Ulster

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Scots legislation and had explicit

legislation that recognised and

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protected British values and that

sense of identity which we do not

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deny and which we do not seek to in

any way undermine.

According to the

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Sinn Fein leader the draft agreement

as she called it contained explicit

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legislation that recognised and

protected British values and

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identities. If that is the case, why

did the DUP rejected?

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I'm joined by the DUP

MP Gregory Campbell.

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She could not have been more clear

than what she said this afternoon.

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The two parties had arrived at the

draft agreement last week and the

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DUP failed to deliver on it.

Let's

look at the comments made yesterday

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and today. Yesterday, just to remind

people, Michelle O'Neill said we had

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reached accommodation on all the

issues. It was described as an

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accommodation and on all the issues.

Now today we hear from the newly

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installed leader and she described

it as a draft agreement, but there

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were some issues that we did not

reach agreement on. You pay your

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money and you make your choice.

How

would you describe? Put us out of

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our misery because it sounds like

you are dancing on the head of a

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pen. There was an accommodation, and

agreement, some kind of draft deal

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that both are you had agreed as a

framework for potential full

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agreement.

Can you see that point?

No, that is what Sinn Fein would say

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and I have just outlined to you how

it changed in 24 hours from

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yesterday to today. In our position

we said privately to Sinn Fein and

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publicly on scores of occasions that

we would not agree to an Irish

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language act. That is what we said

repeatedly, ad nauseam, in the

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public domain and privately to Sinn

Fein. White then in the weekend when

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Gerry Adams was about to leave the

stage would Sinn Fein say we know

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what they said privately and

publicly, but we have got them to

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change their mind and we are going

to do a deal and we have signed up

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to it. What fools do they take us

for?

What do you make of what she

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said today? They were not going to

publish the details of the draft

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agreement in their entirety, but she

wanted to give people a sense of

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what had been agreed between the two

parties, a respectable working

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accommodation as she described it.

It seems there was an Irish language

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act in some shape or form. There was

also to be official recognition for

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the Irish language and the

Commissioner for the Irish language.

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How did you everything you would be

able to sell that your supporters?

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Well, we did not. You are making the

mistake others are making. Because

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Sinn Fein has a list of demands, I

wish list, and then wishes to prepay

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or portrayed that some sort of

accommodation or draft agreement,

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depending on the day you speak to

them, you accept that as fact.

A lot

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of commentators and journalists have

spoken to people engaged in that

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process, and I have as well, and

there was some kind of paper that

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you had signed off together to go to

and take that to your respective

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supporters for further consultation.

Can you see that point? There were

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papers exchanged throughout the

process.

Was there a final paper at

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the end of last week?

No, there was

not. I do not understand why

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journalists like you and others do

not ask Sinn Fein why did you not

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make it the day before Sinn

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make it the day before Sinn Fein let

Gerry Adams go? If there was a deal,

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why did it only emerge on the day

before Gerry Adams was going to

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retire? It is utter nonsense.

I

would put questions like that to

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Sinn Fein if the party agreed to

join us.

There you go.

That is their

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choice and I am talking to you. It

is also clear in what Mary Lou

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McDonald said today is that it seems

like, and I cannot understand why

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you will not concede this point,

that you got quite a lot of what you

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wanted in this final draft paper. No

stand-alone Irish language act in

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spite of what Sinn Fein says, no

quotas, no compulsory learning of

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Irish, protection for British

identity in a consolidated culture

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act, you sidestepped marriage

equality legislation, why would you

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throw all of that away after so much

hard work and plunge us into this

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political vacuum?

Again you have

accepted what Sinn Fein want as a

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wish list as some sort of agreed

document which it is not.

It is more

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than a wish list is ignored?

Is it

agreement on all the issues that

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Michelle O'Neill said yesterday, or

is it agreement on some of the

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issues and just an accommodation as

they were outlining today?

I do not

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understand why you will not concede

the point that there was some kind

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of final paper that went to

consultation with DUP members. I

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know that to be the case, I have

spoken to people in your party who

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have confirmed there was a draft

paper that they took back to talk to

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MLAs and MPs about. Why will you not

concede that?

There were a series of

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documents.

There was a final

document that was consulted on.

Who

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said that?

I will not remain

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said that?

I will not remain name

them.

I thought you would say that.

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It would embarrass you. I tell you

what, embarrass me. No, I will not.

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Documents have been exchanged and

swapped back and forth over recent

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months and weeks.

I am talking about

the final document, the latest

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document. You were not there, of

course, you were off for ten days

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and not part of the negotiating

team.

Unfortunately people cannot

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prevent being ill.

You accept you

were not there.

I was there on a

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series of previous occasions.

You

were not there at the end of last

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week and people we have spoken to

work there at the end of last week.

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I was brave continuously as were all

the other officers and there was no

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deal upon which we could agree.

There was no deal, but there was a

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draft consultation paper for you to

consider.

There was no draft

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document. Mark, I don't know why you

cannot accept some real politic

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here. Was Gerry Adams leaving the

stage last weekend? Never mind about

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Gerry Adams. I am asking about why

the DUP did not clinch the deal that

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was apparently on the table last

weekend. It was to be rubber-stamped

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on Monday.

You can keep asking the

questions and I will answer them the

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way I want to answer them. Well

people believe you? Was Gerry Adams

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going to leave the stage last

Saturday or not? Did we all know

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that that was the case? Did anybody

get any indication of some draft

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document 48 hours before he left the

stage? No, nobody had any, and there

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was no gossip, talk, reference or

commentators saying there was going

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to be an agreement because there was

not an agreement on the table.

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There were plenty of articles

written in newspapers. You know that

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very well. On Thursday of last week.

You discussed that on The View last

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Thursday night.

That's correct. On

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday when

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talks were ongoing, there was no

indication from anyone involved in

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the talks or on the periphery of the

talks or even commentators or

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reporters, and no indication

anywhere that a draft document was

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going to be circulated, until we

come towards the weekend when Gerry

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Adams was about to leave the stage.

If you do not want to make that

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correlation or look at that, I am

sure that there are many others who

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well. They can draw their own

conclusions.

Explain this to me,

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Sinn Fein made it clear today that

they will make the text of the deal

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available to the British and Irish

governments and they will also

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briefed parties north and south. How

can they make available a text which

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you have said does not exist?

We can

certainly make some text of some

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kind that they may have put forward,

we can do whatever they want in

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terms of some sort of repeats of

documentation to our government and

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their own government and the public.

-- release of document. Mary Lou

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McDonald said today... You will have

to let me finish, what they cannot

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do is misrepresent that document as

an agreed document. It is their own

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document...

No one said it was an

agreed document, they have said it

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was a final stage document which

both of you were going off to

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consult on, your rank and file

members on. This is what Mary Lou

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McDonald said, she said she had a

firm understanding that it was an

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agreement, only presentational

matters were outstanding. Are you

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telling us she was not telling the

truth?

She said she had an agreement

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with the dealership of the DUP. Is

that not correct? That is correct.

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And you have played a clip in the

news before this programme started

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for the leader of the DUP made it

absolutely clear that no such

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document existed, she also indicated

that we have the collegiate

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leadership in the DUP. Now, you are

asking me and my colleagues in Sinn

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Fein, telling them they are liars

when you ask that? Did Nigel Dodds,

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Gregory Campbell, Arlene Foster

agree to this draft document? Ask

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that question and see if you are not

laughed out of court.

What are the

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implications for this mess of the

leadership of Arlene Foster, because

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the way that it looks too many

people outside of the process is

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that whatever you want to call it,

whatever the paper was, whatever the

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latest thinking was, that she then

discussed it with her senior party

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members, they did not like it, she

could not sell it, and people are

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asking whether she is now in charge

of her own party.

Well, you see,

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Mark, a very small number of people

have asked that ridiculous question.

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Well, lots of people have asked

that.

Why do you not answered? I

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definitely will answer it.

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definitely will answer it. Have you

got any deviation from the answer

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I'm going to give you?

I do not know

what you will tell me.

Go ahead.

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Arlene Foster has no difficulty

within the party, did not have any

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difficulty last weekend and will not

have any difficulty this weekend. Is

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that clear enough?

That is pretty

clear.

And it is clear and you will

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get that same answer from every

person that you pose the question

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to. So, any nonsense that people are

peddling that this calls into

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question Arlene Foster's leadership,

I mean, you really need to get a

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grip. Unionism gave the answer to

Sinn Fein's demand that we accept

0:18:270:18:32

the wish list. We were never going

to do that and we did not do that.

0:18:320:18:36

You might have wanted to give a

farewell present to Gerry Adams,

0:18:360:18:40

that is fine if they want to do

that.

How does Arlene Foster as your

0:18:400:18:44

leader get this

0:18:440:18:50

leader get this process back on

track again?

Well, you are

0:18:500:18:52

pejorative and how you have put that

question, Mark, when you describe as

0:18:520:18:55

my dear leader.

Why did you do that?

How does she get the process by

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contract again? We are running out

of time. Give me a quick answer,

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please.

We would not have run out of

time if you had not blocked my

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questions and not allowed me to give

answers. What we must do is be calm

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and settle down, everyone has to

settle down, we have to get the

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budget passed next

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budget passed next week so that

important issues like health,

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education, all of those matters can

begin to be addressed. Then we have

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to get a cool, calm period of

reflection when parties can sit down

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and say, are we going to go back

into some sort of process any more

0:19:310:19:38

realistic tone this time. So we will

do away with preconditions and come

0:19:380:19:41

with an open-ended book and we will

seek within a short, sharp time they

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read we can get an agreement that we

can all buy into.

And we will end up

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where we are the last weekend, it

all leads to the same conversation

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and the same hurdles have to be

overcome.

Our view is that we can

0:19:540:19:57

set up a government tomorrow. We

know that. You have known that all

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along and estate that somebody who's

like Sinn Fein has said that we will

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not set up a government until we get

what we want. That cannot lead to an

0:20:050:20:10

agreement. Also people will have

time for reflection now and we can

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try to reconvene in a much more

constructive mode and anymore and

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that is designed to get agreement

and consensus that we can all buy

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into, not just one party and one

party saying it is our way or no

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way. That will not result in an

agreement.

We will have to leave it

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there. Gregory Campbell, thank you

for joining us.

0:20:300:20:35

And by the way, we had hoped

to speak to someone from Sinn Fein

0:20:350:20:38

live on the programme,

but our invitation was declined.

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So, we've heard the views of the two

main players at the heart of this

0:20:410:20:45

political breakdown.

0:20:450:20:46

But what about the other parties?

0:20:460:20:47

In a moment we'll hear

from the SDLP, Ulster

0:20:470:20:49

Unionists and Alliance.

0:20:490:20:51

First though, here's how some people

in Belfast reacted to the news

0:20:510:20:53

that the current talks process

was dead in the water.

0:20:530:20:58

Pretty ridiculous, to be honest. I

just think that in this teenage they

0:20:580:21:04

should be able to agree on something

for the country.

I do not think any

0:21:040:21:10

of the issues that anybody has been

talking about that people on the

0:21:100:21:13

street really care about more than

getting health, education and other

0:21:130:21:19

parts of the government working

again. Sinn Fein represents a lot of

0:21:190:21:24

waters and I do not think it is

unreasonable that they would like to

0:21:240:21:29

have an Irish Language Act. I do not

think it is a huge expense when you

0:21:290:21:35

consider the number of people that

are represented.

I think it is awful

0:21:350:21:38

and they should put the lot of them

into a boat out in sea no worse. Or

0:21:380:21:45

stop their wages. I am working 30

hours each week for less money that

0:21:450:21:50

they are getting, £30,000 each year

and they are sitting on their

0:21:500:21:57

bottoms for nothing!

Sinn Fein want

everything and do not want to give

0:21:570:21:59

everything or anything back.

Should

there be some compromise around the

0:21:590:22:02

Irish Language Act?

No.

What

concerns you about it?

The cost.

The

0:22:020:22:10

best thing I can tell you at this

moment in time is never say never.

0:22:100:22:15

All we can do mainly and I know it

has been said many times before, but

0:22:150:22:20

it is just to keep our heads up, go

forward and wait and see because it

0:22:200:22:25

is out of our hands. We have to hope

that it gets sorted.

I think we need

0:22:250:22:32

direct rule for ASAP for at least

five years.

0:22:320:22:38

And joining me now are

representatives from the three other

0:22:380:22:41

main parties at Stormont.

0:22:410:22:42

The SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood,

is in our Foyle studio.

0:22:420:22:44

His Ulster Unionist counterpart,

Robin Swann, is with me

0:22:440:22:46

in the studio, alongside the deputy

leader of the Alliance

0:22:460:22:49

Party, Stephen Farry.

0:22:490:22:52

Welcome to you all.

0:22:520:22:54

Welcome to you all.

0:22:540:22:55

Robin Swann, your party was very

clear that an Irish Language Act

0:22:550:22:58

should not be part of any deal,

and on that rock, this deal

0:22:580:23:01

appears to have perished.

0:23:010:23:02

Are you happy about that?

0:23:020:23:03

Our party has been clear on the

position of an Irish Language Act

0:23:030:23:06

for 20 years. We did not see any

need for it in the Good Friday

0:23:060:23:09

Agreement but back then we did want

the creation of two distinct bodies.

0:23:090:23:11

We knew back then that when language

and culture was brought into

0:23:110:23:17

politics and given to the hands of

politicians that would cause a

0:23:170:23:20

problem. That is really want to be

and that is a problem we are at low.

0:23:200:23:24

Politicians have made this into an

issue that it not be.

The quiet

0:23:240:23:34

reflection on Gregory Campbell who

maintains that there was no draft

0:23:340:23:36

agreement, there was no

accommodation, there was no deal.

0:23:360:23:38

Mary Lou McDonald has a different

perspective on things. How do you

0:23:380:23:42

square that circle? It is not up to

me to do that. What is your

0:23:420:23:45

impression?

We believe that there

was a draft agreement.

On the basis

0:23:450:23:50

of what?

On where we got two on

Monday and Tuesday. It was clear on

0:23:500:23:57

Friday had the Secretary of State

had sight of an agreement at that

0:23:570:24:00

stage and she said no. Over the

weekend something dramatically moved

0:24:000:24:04

enough to bring the Prime Minister

and the Taoiseach to Northern

0:24:040:24:06

Ireland, so there had to be

something germinating between the

0:24:060:24:10

two parties. There had to be

something more than just a hope

0:24:100:24:13

surely for both the Prime Minister

and the Taoiseach to appear in

0:24:130:24:18

Belfast.

Colum Eastwood joining us,

do you believe there was a draft

0:24:180:24:23

deal or has that been overplayed?

Of

course, we were not in the room when

0:24:230:24:26

these things were being done, but it

is quite clear that my best guess

0:24:260:24:31

was that there was a deal and I am

told that it was on the table and

0:24:310:24:34

October and people have walked away

from it and walked back to it a

0:24:340:24:38

number of times ever since. The most

important thing that people need to

0:24:380:24:41

be talking about, not whether there

was a Friday night were not, but

0:24:410:24:45

what we have now is no government

and the prospect of the

0:24:450:24:53

and the prospect of the British

government bringing any budget here,

0:24:580:25:00

a British government who are in

cahoots with the DUP. So what this

0:25:000:25:04

has delivered is the DUP taking

decision to Northern Ireland on

0:25:040:25:06

their own. That goes against

everything that the Good Friday

0:25:060:25:08

Agreement stands for, it goes

against both of the progress that we

0:25:080:25:10

have met. The Good Friday Agreement

is underpinned by the idea that

0:25:100:25:13

there are two different

nationalities and they both have to

0:25:130:25:15

have a place. We cannot accept and

nobody should accept the British

0:25:150:25:17

Government with the DUP making

decisions in Northern Ireland. Let

0:25:170:25:20

me tell you this, Mark. Unionism I

believe has been badly served by

0:25:200:25:28

people like Gregory Campbell and

Arlene Foster. And as a nationalist,

0:25:280:25:31

I would like to tell Unionists that

my Irishness is not threatened, your

0:25:310:25:35

Britishness is not threatened and we

have to find a way to bring that

0:25:350:25:41

common endeavour about to bring

about something that will work for

0:25:410:25:46

each other because this is going

nowhere. Unless we get a grip of

0:25:460:25:50

this thing. People have to

understand that people like Arlene

0:25:500:25:55

Foster and Gregory Campbell are

driving nationals away from the

0:25:550:25:58

notion of Stormont and I will do

everything it can to bring them back

0:25:580:26:02

to the position that we have to have

partnership and co-operation but we

0:26:020:26:05

need help and we have to move each

other into the middle. This cannot

0:26:050:26:08

go on like this for much longer and

people have to understand the

0:26:080:26:13

seriousness of this.

Before I come

to the Alliance representative, how

0:26:130:26:17

do you respond to that?

My Unionism

is not threatened by his nationalism

0:26:170:26:24

and vice versa, we have seen that in

Northern Ireland. We have seen that

0:26:240:26:27

for the first ten years since the

Good Friday Agreement and we have

0:26:270:26:33

tried to make this place work. In

the last two elections we have seen

0:26:330:26:37

polarisation in Northern Ireland. We

have to build the live side by side,

0:26:370:26:41

we will always have our differences

and we have to work through them but

0:26:410:26:43

it is how we solve that. I am not

threatened by the Irish Language Act

0:26:430:26:49

or Ulster nationalism, I have no

problem with the Irish language. The

0:26:490:26:54

Irish language actor something very

different.

But the sky would not

0:26:540:26:57

fall down.

0:26:570:27:03

fall down.

Mary Lou McDonald talked

about a commissioner and when we

0:27:060:27:10

look back at the draft in 2015, a

commissioner would have the same

0:27:100:27:14

powers as a High Court to.

You do

not know that. I was told it was a

0:27:140:27:22

very watered-down version of an

Irish Language Commissioner that the

0:27:220:27:25

strap was suggesting.

You are saying

that and so am I. The 2015 draft

0:27:250:27:29

consultation... We have not seen

anything different.

I am only

0:27:290:27:35

telling you what I have been told.

An Irish Language Commissioner can

0:27:350:27:39

mean lots of different things. Yes.

Stephen Farry, let me ask you first

0:27:390:27:44

week, at the beginning of this

conversation, Mary Lou McDonald said

0:27:440:27:47

there was a draft deal, Arlene

Foster said that is not the case,

0:27:470:27:53

what do you think?

It would seem

that there was some accommodation

0:27:530:27:55

reached last week.

Why do you say

that?

We had a briefing given to the

0:27:550:28:02

Belfast Telegraph, I would doubt

that was Sinn Fein doing that. The

0:28:020:28:06

first paragraph carries the material

of the DUP and I would suspect the

0:28:060:28:09

other source of that briefing. They

were confident enough, the DUP, to

0:28:090:28:16

spurned. Can I tell you on the wider

point, Northern Ireland today is in

0:28:160:28:24

a very precarious situation, we have

been pulled apart by the fact that

0:28:240:28:28

there is no government, polarisation

is more intense than at any time in

0:28:280:28:31

the previous 20 years. There are

massive problems around Brexit and

0:28:310:28:36

we need something in place to manage

any form special arrangement to get

0:28:360:28:42

this through this massive challenge.

None of that is currently on the

0:28:420:28:43

table. We can only have power

sharing in terms of our governments,

0:28:430:28:49

we have to reflect the unionist and

nationalist traditions and people

0:28:490:28:52

from other backgrounds and the

reality is that other people put it

0:28:520:28:55

on the table or not, the reality is

that we have to have an

0:28:550:28:59

accommodation on the language issue,

that is no route did evolution that

0:28:590:29:02

does not run through some form of

accommodation, and what we have seen

0:29:020:29:08

even from Robin, there are a lot of

things being erected as to what this

0:29:080:29:11

act was going to have. They were

false claims, you were talking about

0:29:110:29:15

Gaelic and campaigning for things

that were never going to be the

0:29:150:29:18

final product. They put for this

compromise around the potential

0:29:180:29:21

bells and I am pleased to see that

that has been reflected on what has

0:29:210:29:25

been breathed so far. But we have to

have a realistic approach to the

0:29:250:29:30

Irish Language Act. We voted against

the previous version because we

0:29:300:29:33

thought that was too extreme and too

far reaching. But equally we

0:29:330:29:37

recognise we have to have some

pragmatic compromise.

0:29:370:29:43

Colum Eastwood, have you spoken to

anyone in Sinn Fein about the

0:29:430:29:48

contents of this apparent

accommodation or draft agreement? Do

0:29:480:29:51

you know any more detail about what

was in it?

No, we will be speaking

0:29:510:30:01

tomorrow. I was disappointed to hear

the announcement today after a year

0:30:010:30:05

of being asked whose rights are you

going to compromise on? People were

0:30:050:30:14

telling me I was sitting at the back

of the bus because I was asking

0:30:140:30:17

people to compromise. We wanted to

ensure that any deal around language

0:30:170:30:24

would be maintained and sustained.

To find out there is no work done

0:30:240:30:29

and that marriage equality has been

left again in a way that it will not

0:30:290:30:34

succeed through the Northern Ireland

Assembly is very disappointing. If

0:30:340:30:38

we want to get back to this again,

we have to get back to the things

0:30:380:30:43

that we have been saying, that we

have to deal with the fact the

0:30:430:30:47

Assembly is set up in such a way

that provides a unionist veto. I do

0:30:470:30:52

not want anyone to have a veto over

people's rides and that is what that

0:30:520:30:57

deal maintained.

Sorry to cut across

you. Do you think maybe the DUP

0:30:570:31:06

played a pretty good hand during

negotiations and managed to water

0:31:060:31:11

down some of what may have seen some

of the more acceptable demands of

0:31:110:31:15

Sinn Fein, on things like same-sex

marriage and on some of the things

0:31:150:31:21

like the Irish language demands?

I

do not know the full detail of the

0:31:210:31:26

Irish Language Act, but it seems to

me they watered down all of it apart

0:31:260:31:31

from the language. Let's wait and

see the detail. If we are going to

0:31:310:31:36

get back to a process of discussion,

everybody should be involved because

0:31:360:31:40

I for one will be making a very

strong case as I have done for the

0:31:400:31:44

last year that the petition of

consent to make sure that issues

0:31:440:31:51

like language do not get picked as

we go through the legislative

0:31:510:31:55

process. We have to make sure it is

not a dead-end veto against people's

0:31:550:31:58

right. That is what happened in the

last couple of assemblies and that

0:31:580:32:05

has to stop if people are serious

about a rights -based society. That

0:32:050:32:10

is the biggest bloc to people

achieving their rights. If we are

0:32:100:32:14

serious about getting back to this,

let's do it properly. What I have

0:32:140:32:20

seen so far is I do not think the

DUP have done the job that they set

0:32:200:32:25

out to do.

Nobody seems to know what

the next move is. What is it?

We

0:32:250:32:32

need to go to Westminster.

A

precedent had been set. Then do we

0:32:320:32:39

need to go to an election?

Technically that is what needs to

0:32:390:32:43

happen.

If an election is called and

the Secretary of State thinks that

0:32:430:32:49

is where we need to go, it would not

change much. Let's see where we are.

0:32:490:32:57

If the Secretary of State wants to

call an election, I am not scared of

0:32:570:33:01

one, we will take it as it comes,

but it will not change the problems.

0:33:010:33:08

That is what this current set of

politicians were elected to do,

0:33:080:33:11

change the problems and come up with

solutions and work through them.

0:33:110:33:16

Stephen Farry, I made the point at

the end of the interview with

0:33:160:33:19

Gregory Campbell and all people say

that all roads lead back to the same

0:33:190:33:27

place and the issues have to be

resolved between Sinn Fein and the

0:33:270:33:31

DUP.

The issues remain the same, and

there are other issues that need to

0:33:310:33:36

be addressed as well. But we have

had massive issues in terms of the

0:33:360:33:42

health system, the education system

and the economy and it is all

0:33:420:33:46

building up and sitting on the shelf

and we are falling behind in terms

0:33:460:33:48

of these challenges. Yes, we need

something clarified through London

0:33:480:33:56

sometime next week. But we have to

come back to some sort of talks.

0:33:560:34:03

There is a lot of bad blood as a

consequence of what happened this

0:34:030:34:07

week and also in terms of the

credibility of the people doing the

0:34:070:34:11

negotiations. But we have to get

round that in some shape or form. We

0:34:110:34:18

have to reflect the diversity of

opinions.

What do you think needs to

0:34:180:34:25

happen next? I know you have talked

about the importance of the British

0:34:250:34:30

intergovernmental conference. It has

not met for a very long time.

There

0:34:300:34:34

is a first step and we have to

understand the spirit of the Good

0:34:340:34:39

Friday Agreement that recognises

there are two traditions and they

0:34:390:34:41

both need to be respected. We cannot

have the DUP and the British

0:34:410:34:46

Government making decisions for

everybody in Northern Ireland. The

0:34:460:34:50

Irish government has to be involved

in a real way. That is why the

0:34:500:34:54

British Government and the leaders

of all the political parties in the

0:34:540:34:58

South need to reiterate that call.

We cannot be left at the whim of

0:34:580:35:02

people like Gregory and Sammy Wilson

doing deals in Westminster. That

0:35:020:35:07

cannot happen, it would be a very

regressive step and one that would

0:35:070:35:11

be difficult to come back from.

Thank you all for joining us.

0:35:110:35:16

Thank you all for joining us.

0:35:160:35:17

Only one story to talk about tonight

with our commentators

0:35:170:35:19

Fionnuala O Connor and Alex Kane.

0:35:190:35:24

They have been waiting patiently.

Good evening. Thank you for joining

0:35:240:35:28

us again on the programme. Good to

have you both back. Let's talk about

0:35:280:35:35

Gregory Campbell. He is clear there

was no draft deal up for discussion

0:35:350:35:41

in spite of what Mary Lou McDonald

said. People will wonder how they

0:35:410:35:45

can both be right.

He was not clear,

he was evasive and it was very

0:35:450:35:52

difficult to think how he would

convince anybody when he kept going

0:35:520:35:55

off into that nonsense about Gerry

Adams.

What was that about? I was

0:35:550:36:00

not sure. But he wanted to talk

about it. Did you understand the

0:36:000:36:05

point he was making about Gerry

Adams?

Most extraordinary thing

0:36:050:36:09

about this process is these guys

have been talking point ten months

0:36:090:36:16

in a government of 30 months and

they have not got a clue about what

0:36:160:36:20

they agreed. Two people said they

did nothing but talk to each other

0:36:200:36:25

and they know nothing. You know I

never thought a deal was likely.

0:36:250:36:30

Last week it seemed likely and the

DUP said no. But by Monday morning

0:36:300:36:36

they were so spooked the DUP

grassroots put so much pressure on

0:36:360:36:41

the leadership that Arlene Foster

had to close it down. Whatever was

0:36:410:36:46

agreed at that point it scared them

enough to stop it.

It leaves Arlene

0:36:460:36:52

Foster very badly damaged.

He was

annoyed I asked that question.

He

0:36:520:37:02

has been out of it for two weeks

with the flu or whatever and he can

0:37:020:37:06

say what he likes. But it is

undeniable. She is badly damaged and

0:37:060:37:11

I do not know how she goes forward

into another set of negotiations,

0:37:110:37:16

how anyone can take her seriously.

It is almost pitiable. Inside that

0:37:160:37:22

party there is nobody else who is

willing to take the job and there is

0:37:220:37:25

nobody else jockeying for it.

Everything she has touched has gone

0:37:250:37:34

bad and there is the inquiry coming

up shortly.

He was very robust. He

0:37:340:37:40

said he was fully briefed and he

knows what happened and he said it

0:37:400:37:44

was a ridiculous question even to

raise about her position as leader.

0:37:440:37:48

He would say that. He was put up

because he had not been at the talks

0:37:480:37:54

for the last couple of weeks and he

was going to say what ever needed to

0:37:540:37:57

be said. He was being very loyal, he

has not always been loyal to the

0:37:570:38:02

leadership.

I think her authority

has been damaged, but neither of

0:38:020:38:08

these parties have come out of it

well. These parties made an

0:38:080:38:12

arrangement ten years ago that they

would provide consensus and a stable

0:38:120:38:14

government. They said they could do

better. They have had ten years of

0:38:140:38:22

stand-offs, of crises and after 13

months to say we are better, we have

0:38:220:38:26

got the Monday, and they still

cannot do it.

0:38:260:38:32

cannot do it.

Both parties failed to

reach agreement.

Sinn Fein. They did

0:38:330:38:38

reach an agreement. I want to know

what they thought why they reached

0:38:380:38:41

an agreement. It is very hard to see

what they got out of it.

Were you

0:38:410:38:47

surprised by that?

I was surprised

how Mary Lou McDonald presented it.

0:38:470:38:53

She presented it as fact, there was

no attempt to dress it up.

Did it

0:38:530:38:57

surprise you?

We were told on

same-sex marriage would go to a

0:38:570:39:03

private member's build and one party

would be allowed to produce a

0:39:030:39:08

petition of concern.

One party could

not do it on its own.

The DUP and an

0:39:080:39:16

Ulster Unionist, Jim Allister, would

be able to cripple that bill.

I was

0:39:160:39:20

struck by the fact that they said

they had an agreement, and they did

0:39:200:39:26

in Saint Andrews. But on legacy,

come on!

It is fascinating stuff.

0:39:260:39:34

That's it from The View for tonight.

0:39:340:39:35

There's no Sunday Politics this

weekend, but, unlike Stormont,

0:39:350:39:37

The View will be back next week.

0:39:370:39:39

Good night.

0:39:390:39:47

# And I am stuck on you and I am

here still trying to figure it out.

0:39:580:40:07

# I can hardly sleep, I am still

trying to figure it out.

0:40:070:40:16

# And I am stuck on you and I am

here still trying to figure it out.

0:40:160:40:28

Join Mark Carruthers and guests on Thursdays for The View - the week's political news, comments and expert analysis. The View reports events at Stormont and Westminster and how they are affecting issues such as health and the economy. It follows the ups and downs of the political parties and debates the highs and lows of the political week. It also has an alternative view on the week's political headlines.


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