Northern Ireland Political Talks Stall As Time Runs Out

Ross Houston
October 21, 2017

The former president met DUP and Sinn Féin politicians in Belfast on Tuesday.

Ireland's government is considering pushing for guarantees that no border will be reimposed on the island of Ireland as the price for allowing Brexit talks to move ahead, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Northern Ireland's semi-autonomous government collapsed in January, after Sinn Fein pulled out of governing with their DUP counterparts over the handling of a renewable energy scheme.

"The UK Government will do what is necessary to provide the stability required to ensure communities in Northern Ireland are not disadvantaged by the continued absence of devolved government".

In spite endless rounds of discussions, a deal to restore devolution has proved elusive with the introduction of an Irish language act seen as the main issue.

Britain on Wednesday set a new deadline of Oct 30 for Northern Ireland's deadlocked political parties to reach a powersharing deal, warning it would otherwise have to impose direct rule.

The taoiseach said that he had been heartened by Theresa May's strengthened opposition to a hard border and said she had made Britain's "positive" position clear in her address to European leaders last night.

Mr Brokenshire said that talks have stalled in the last few days.

He added: "Unless there is a renewed spirit of compromise then the outlook for imminent resolution is not positive".

"It appears they have used their big mandates to achieve one thing; bringing British Direct Rule to Northern Ireland".

But she warned: "Substantial issues remain to be resolved and much more work will be required if we are to reach agreement".

As the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement approaches, James Brokenshire calls on the parties to ensure there is no return to direct rule.

Other political parties in Northern Ireland have voiced their frustration with the situation.

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