Businessman prepared to seek order compelling DUP to attend north-south meetings

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The businessman will seek a court order that compels after To end the boycott of North-South political formations if it does not change stance next week.

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Belfast Businessman Sean Napier returned to court on Friday seeking to clear the current “confounding picture” after a party minister failed to attend two cross-border meetings a day.

The DUP has vowed to break away from the structures of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), apart from meetings on health issues, as part of its protest against Brexit. Northern Ireland Etiquette.


However, on Monday a Belfast High Court judge, Mr Justice Scofield, ruled the DUP’s position illegal.

Despite that decision, DUP Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots did not attend two planned virtual meetings with Irish ministerial counterparts on environmental issues on Friday.

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under storemont rules, such meetings with the Irish Government Northern Ireland’s executive cannot proceed without the participation of both a federalist and a nationalist minister.

On Monday, the judge did not order the DUP to be forced to attend future meetings, but told Mr Napier – who brought the legal challenge – that he could return to court if the party did not act on his announcement. Huh. illegality.

Mr Napier and his legal team returned to the High Court on Friday afternoon.

After a brief hearing, Mr Justice Scofield allowed the respondents to respond until the close of business on Tuesday, with the matter to be heard again on Wednesday.

Speaking outside the court, the businessman’s lawyer Paul Farrell said the next step in the process would be for his client to seek a specific order from the court, unless the DUP changed the position.

“The ball is very clearly in the DUP’s court, but Mr Napier is determined to look into the matter, so we eagerly await a response from the DUP leadership and ministers until Wednesday of next week,” he said.

Asked what his client will do if the DUP continues the boycott, the solicitor said: “Mr. Napier’s instructions are to proceed to the next step, which is based on an order from the court regarding the DUP’s engagement with the North.” Will have to request South Ministerial Council, as they are required to do.

“The law is very clear on this, so it’s a matter for ministers and their leadership to explain what’s really happening.”

Mr Napier said his main objective was to protect the Good Friday Agreement. He took a copy of the peace agreement to the court.

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“As a young journalist in 1998 I was in the Stormont buildings when it was signed … for me I feel a little bit parental about it,” he said.

“It has been for us, it has kept the peace here and it is imperative that it be properly implemented in all parts of it. This is not an la carte treaty, it is very important that it has worked for the good of the people here. What have you done for

“So I think it’s my duty to be its guardian and it’s been very positive in court today, and we’re looking forward to more positive protections for the Good Friday Agreement.”

The DUP has argued that it did not technically boycott Friday’s meetings because it was not possible to formally schedule them after DUP First Minister Paul Givhan refused to sign the agenda.

In line with the DUP’s promise of exemption from its post on NSMC, a north-south meeting on health matters was held on Thursday.

Sinn Féin junior minister Declan Kearney, who attended Friday’s second meeting, said the DUP was “playing train wreck politics”.

“The time has come for the DUP to put an end to this illegal boycott of important government business and put the interests of the common people first and get back to work on behalf of all in our society,” he said.

SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon, who was to attend Friday’s first meeting on maritime issues, accused the DUP of “unacceptable and completely dishonest” behaviour.

He also questioned the point of the boycott, claiming that Thursday’s meeting was used to “hurry up” a range of other NSMC issues that were not health-related.

“It is surprising, following this week’s High Court ruling, that (DUP leader) Jeffrey Donaldson is overseeing a deliberate and unlawful boycott of North-South institutions,” she said.

“It shows not only disdain for the rule of law, but also contempt for the people we represent.

“This is also fundamentally dishonest – this week a wide range of NSMC business was pushed through a health sectoral draft meeting. So what exactly is the gist of this tactic? To be honest, instead of giving them half a climb up the hill.

The NSMC is a build-up of the Good Friday Peace Agreement of 1998 and is designed to increase political cooperation on the island of Ireland. The peace agreement also included structures to maintain and promote east-west relations with the island and Great Britain.

The DUP argues that north-south relations cannot continue normally when, it claims, the Northern Ireland Protocol and its associated economic constraints on Irish Sea trade have damaged east-west relations.


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