Tuesday 1 July, 18:30-20:30
Macmillan Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.
Westminster Tube, public entrance to Portcullis House, Victoria Embankment.
Hosted by Sinn Féin MPs and Vice President Mary Lou McDonald TD
This event has now taken place
This event was invite only
Facebook Event Page can be found HERE
Speaking ahead of the event, Ms McDonald said;
“Sinn Féin has made clear that we are for progressive alternatives to the austerity policies of Fine Gael, Labour or Fianna Fáil in Dublin, or Tory imposed cuts in the north. What we need is a real discussion about having a different economic approach.
During the period of the Celtic Tiger Sinn Féin pointed out the dangers of the developing property bubble and the potential for an economic crash. Sinn Féin argued that the wealth of the Celtic Tiger should be used to create sustainable jobs, build infrastructure, and invest in health and education.
We were ridiculed by the same people whose flawed greedy self-serving policies collapsed the economy. They forced hundreds of thousands out of work and almost half a million of our young people overseas.
In the north, we propose exactly the same approach. We are for investment to create growth and jobs, defending social and welfare provision. We are opposed to cuts and austerity, which is contracting the economy, penalising the most marginalised in our society and driving down living standards of ordinary people.
Sinn Féin was right then and we are right now. The Property Tax, Water tax, removal of medical cards, welfare cuts, mortgage distress and lack of social housing have pushed working people to the limit. For our part Sinn Féin needs to be ready for government in this state on our terms, agree our policy priorities and political platform and our commitments need to be deliverable.
We are ambitious for change and believe we can deliver on jobs, housing and health. But we will not enter government merely to give cover to the agenda of conservative parties. Sinn Féin seeks to offer a viable, political alternative. We need a realignment of politics. Let those on the Irish left who really believe that a government without Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil is possible begin working together towards that end.”
She added that the British and Irish governments must live up to their responsibilities to the peace process.
“Sinn Féín demonstrated very clearly during the Haass negotiations our seriousness and determination to find a way forward. We made compromises during those talks. For any process aimed at resolving these issues to succeed unionist political leaders need to show a similar willingness. That has not been evident so far.
Despite this there does exist a window of opportunity to resolve the difficult issues of flags, parades and the past. Party leaders in the Assembly have agreed an intensive round of talks starting this week and Sinn Féin is engaging positively in this process. However key to this is that the British and Irish governments – the co-guarantors of the Agreement – need to up their game.
Tomorrow myself, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will be meeting David Cameron and we will be giving him a clear message that the British government – and the Irish government – must become far more engaged in upholding and fulfilling their obligations.
There is a responsibility on all political leaders in Britain and others in civic society, in particular in the Irish diaspora community, in the trade unions and across the political and social spectrum to join us in ensuring the peace process continues to be driven forward positively.”
More photos from the evening can be found here.