Devolved gov't in Belfast my top priority, says new NI secretary
LONDON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Newly appointed Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley said Monday night her top priority will be to deliver a devolved government at Belfast.
She was making her first comments just hours after being given the job by British Prime Minister Theresa May following the resignation on health grounds of her predecessor James Brokenshire.
Greening said she wants to work closely with all parties, the Irish government, and with all sections of the community, adding the British government remains fully committed to the Belfast Agreement which paved the way for self-rule in the region.
A fall-out between the two leading political parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein, has meant that has been no Northern Ireland Executive in operation for almost a year.
If a solution to the impasse cannot be found, the region faces a new election or direct rule from Westminster.
Greening said: "Clearly, there are immediate challenges. It is now a year since Northern Ireland has had an effective, functioning power-sharing administration, and forming a Northern Ireland Executive, to deliver for the benefit of all, is my top priority. I believe a devolved government in Belfast is best placed to address these issues and take the key decisions which affect people's day to day lives - whether these relate to the economy, public services or issues of policing and justice."
Greening added: "We must continue the work to deliver a Brexit that recognises Northern Ireland's unique circumstances and avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland while maintaining the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom. Alongside these issues, I am conscious of the need to establish a stronger economy and a shared society, to address the legacy of the past and to keep people safe and secure."
Bradley was previously Culture Secretary and was given her new role as part of Theresa May's government reshuffle.