On 28 September the Secretary of State set out the government’s realistic assessment that the time is right for a new round of talks to be convened to help resolve differences between parties in the Northern Ireland Executive. I am pleased, therefore, that these are now due to begin at Stormont today.
It is essential that we do all that we can to lift the blockages that are preventing the Executive from delivering the effective government that the people of Northern Ireland expect and deserve.
Northern Ireland’s politicians need to deal with these issues so that they can focus on the key priorities of building a stronger, healthier economy and a genuinely shared society. But while the government can help, ultimately it is for Northern Ireland political leaders to take these issues forward. I trust, therefore, that all parties will approach these talks constructively and with a genuine willingness to succeed.
As Prime Minister I am fully supportive of this process. I know that the Taoiseach is too. It is our intention that our respective ministers will report back on progress by the end of November.