Deadline missed but powersharing talks expected to continue

Henrietta Brewer
June 29, 2017

Mr Poots said Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire would make a statement to the House of Commons on Monday outlining the way ahead in the wake of yet another broken deadline.

Sinn Féin's vote surged in the subsequent assembly election but parties failed to share power within the six-week timeframe.

"We are now allowing the parties space to continue the discussions", she said. Emma Gallen, who is in her early twenties and campaigns as part of the Alliance for Choice, said that this announcement was "a fantastic step in the right direction" but added "it's still just a step". The decision may yet be appealed, but whatever the outcome it will do nothing for the vast majority of women who do not have a diagnosis of a fatal foetal anomaly or who have not been sexually abused - but who are simply trying to make the choice that is right for them and their families when faced with an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy they can not continue'.

"We believe that very good progress has been made, we believe that a resolution can be found and we're urging the parties to continue focusing their efforts on achieving it".

Britain said on Thursday it would fund abortions in England for women coming from Northern Ireland, which has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.

The assembly has powers over issues including health, education, justice and the province's economy.

The news came as Mr Dodds pledged in an article in today's Daily Telegraph that his party's decision to support the minority Tory Government and "bring greater stability and prosperity for everyone in this great Kingdom".

That triggered a March 2 snap election in which the conservative DUP saw its lead over socialists Sinn Fein slashed.

Prospects of a deal to restore powersharing were fading last night as Northern Ireland's parties remained deadlocked on marriage equality and rights for Irish language speakers. The equivalent figure for Ulster-Scots is 0.9 percent.

Ireland's foreign minister said negotiations would continue and that an agreement was still within reach.

'Until that becomes reality, we look forward to working closely with government to ensure women travelling from Northern Ireland receive the equitable NHS treatment they deserve'.

It's looking unlikely that a deal will be reached to restore power-sharing at Stormont by this afternoon's deadline.

Labour and SNP MPs had attempted to use the Tory/ DUP deal and a political weapon claiming that it put the Northern Ireland peace process in peril.

However, without an executive in Belfast, it could be London ministers who decide how the cash is spent.

A crucial sticking point in the way of a deal appears to be Sinn Fein's demand for an Irish Language Act, which would bestow official protections for Gaelic speakers.

Murphy said Sinn Fein would not accept Northern Ireland going back to being fully governed from London.

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