[Sinn Fein]

12th September 2002

Reid monitor proposal pandering to unionism

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin responding to reports that British Secretary of State John Reid is shortly to announce details of his proposals for an independent auditor to monitor ceasefires said that `it would be a retrograde step, clearly outside of the Good Friday Agreement and designed to pander to those unionists so opposed to change. `

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``All along Sinn Fein has stated that these proposals are outside the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and would be a retrograde step for the peace process. The decision of the British government to go ahead with them is clear evidence of them pandering to unionism.

``Are the British government seriously telling us that they believe that following the introduction of these proposals that David Trimble will step forward to champion the Good Friday Agreement or that the no men of unionism are going to remove their obstacles to change?

``I believe that this proposal will not only undermine the peace process but will also be used by those within the British system who are totally opposed to change and who want to bring the Good Friday Agreement down.''

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