Theresa May will intervene in crunch Northern Ireland talks

0

Northern Ireland has been without a government since January 2017.

Arlene Foster Theresa May

Theresa May is set to make a last-minute trip to Northern Ireland as part of a bid to resolve the ongoing political stalemate in Stormont.

The BBC understands that the PM is considering the trip to end the sparring between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin. Northern Ireland has been without a government since January 2017 and the two main parties are still unable to reach an accord.

The new Northern Ireland secretary, Karen Bradley, has attempted to reinvigorate the process by reopening cross-party talks that failed under her predecessor, James Brokenshire.

The talks in the power-sharing coalition collapsed after several rounds of negotiations. More talks will take place today (9 February) between all sides of the debate in both Northern Ireland and Britain.

Gerry Adams, the outgoing Sinn Féin leader, said that the talks were “a work in progress”.

Adams, who will step down as party president on Saturday, said: “It would be wrong to call it either way. There are still gaps. I would like to see it [the Northern Ireland government]up and running again for the sake of the people.”

A spokesperson for the DUP said: “Northern Ireland cannot continue without ministers in place to make decisions.

“Our negotiating team has made progress but there are still a lot of gaps and more work to be done.”

Separately, the future of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit is still being debated.

If the UK opts for a hard Brexit, it would have to default to WTO trade rules and could risk the return of a hard border. Under the agreement reached between the UK and the EU in December, there will be no hard border post-Brexit but details of how that will actually work have still be be finalised.

The DUP, which is in a confidence and supply deal with the Tory government in Westminster, has warned that it could walk away from any agreement if Northern Ireland remains part of the single market or customs union.

loading...
Share.

Leave A Reply