[Sinn Fein]

16 July 1998

Bill must be an accurate interpretation of Good Friday Agreement

Sinn Fein Assembly member and chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, responding to the publication of yesterday's Settlement Bill has said that the Bill ``must be an accurate interpretation of the agreement reached on Good Friday.''

Mr. McGuinness said:

``Sinn Fein will scrutinise this Bill and respond to it in detail. It is absolutely essential that there is no departure from the agreement reached on Good Friday. The experience since then is that pro-unionist elements within the British establishment have attempted to hollow out key areas in the agreement. We will be conscious of this in examining this Bill.

``The Good Friday Agreement identified those areas where change has to come, including demilitarisation, constitutional issues, political institutions including all-Ireland bodies, the equality agenda, the Irish language, prisoners and human rights. The sole purpose of the Westminster Bill is to enable the full delivery of these changes agreed on Good Friday. It's provisions must, therefore, be a mirror reflection of the Good Friday Agreement.''ENDS

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