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Principale » Restore devolution or face return of direct rule, Foster tells Sinn Fein

Restore devolution or face return of direct rule, Foster tells Sinn Fein

13 Juin 2017

It comes as the DUP continue to negotiate with the Conservative Party about forming a minority government, with further talks to take place this week. That could be done this time tomorrow morning or dinner time today.

With Northern Ireland having been without a powersharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January, a new three-week process to salvage devolution is starting in Belfast.

He claimed the DUP leader - acting in her capacity as a Stormont executive minister - called for Scotland to exclude gay couples in the north from being able to convert civil partnerships to marriages in Scotland.

The dispute has prompted renewed calls for a chairman from outside the United Kingdom and Ireland to be appointed.

Irish PM designate Leo Varadkar said on Monday that Theresa May's failure to win a majority in last week's election might result in a softer Brexit, as it leaves her more dependent on lawmakers who would favor such a deal.

James Brokenshire said the current process, which involves the United Kingdom and Irish governments chairing elements of the negotiations and the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service moderating other discussions, was the "right approach".

The SDLP and UUP, the two parties who together forged the Good Friday Agreement and for decades held the pre-eminent positions in Northern Ireland politics, now are without a single MP between them.

"I don't know how Theresa May can survive this - that's a matter for her party, of course", he said.

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The historic accord commits the UK Government to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" when dealing with competing political views in the region.

'The Taoiseach indicated his concern that nothing should happen to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk and the challenge that this agreement will bring.

The Assembly election campaign exposed many more divisions between the two main parties, on issues such as legislative protections for Irish language speakers and how to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

He made clear the reintroduction of direct rule from Westminster is on the cards if an agreement does not materialise by that date.

"Jeffrey always plays up their role", he said.

"That's certainly something I'd emphasise in any contacts that I have with Prime Minister May".

'The two leaders spoke about their willingness to continue close cooperation as the United Kingdom embarks on leaving the European Union, with no return to a hard border'.