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Principale » Amnesty warns that May-DUP negotiations must not undermine abortion law reform

Amnesty warns that May-DUP negotiations must not undermine abortion law reform

26 Juin 2017

Martin Mansergh, a key negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement, said he did not necessarily share the concerns expressed by former Prime Minister John Major and others that a deal between the DUP and Tory administration could harm the peace process.

But far from that view being taken up by the DUP leadership, the party's manifestos over many years have talked about the need for renewable energy and it was because a DUP-run department overly-subsidised renewable heat that the cash for ash scandal developed.

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has said that any deal between the Conservative Party and the DUP is not in the best interests of the people of Ireland, particularly the North.

As the Good Friday Agreement clearly noted, the signatories to the agreement affirmed 'that whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction there shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people'.

The DUP were pro-Brexit, but Northern Ireland has the UK's only land border with another European Union country (the border with the Republic of Ireland, which isn't part of the United Kingdom, but is an European Union member).

With a DUP deal as her only way of staying in power, how could May say no to the unionists - for example in the vital but tortuous negotiations to resurrect the devolved government and assembly, disturbingly suspended now for months?

Grainne Teggart, campaigns manager for Amnesty International, said: "The UK Government has a responsibility to deliver abortion rights for women in Northern Ireland".

The Irish Examiner meanwhile launches a strong attack on Sinn Fein for its refusal to take its seats in the House of Commons.

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Major says that any reintroduction of a hard border in Northern Ireland could prove harmful to long-term peace in the country. Cameron in 2015 had at least one cosy dinner at No 10 with DUP MPs - some of whom gleefully reported to me that parliamentary arithmetic, not Stormont's functioning, was on the menu.

A Tory-DUP pact is also a partnership that brings into mainstream British politics a party which is opposed to societal ideals widely held by the British public - such as rights for the LGBT community and on abortion and environmental values around climate change.

But he added that DUP leader Arlene Foster should resign her position and not feel emboldened by the Conservative talks.

And a Downing Street source said the talks had been "constructive".

Any hard border, he said, would be catastrophic.

He said he was "concerned", "wary" and "dubious...both for peace process reasons but also for others reasons as well".

Theresa May's seeking the support of the DUP as she tries to form a minority government.

Amnesty warns that May-DUP negotiations must not undermine abortion law reform