Brokenshire Stays In Belfast As Powersharing Deadlock Continues

Brokenshire Stays In Belfast As Powersharing Deadlock Continues

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has stayed in Belfast to provide an update on the state of powersharing talks.

The DUP and Sinn Fein failed to meet Mr Brokenshire’s Monday deadline to reach agreement to reinstate the Stormont Executive in the region.

He had previously warned the parties that they had until the start of the week to produce a written agreement or he would be forced to legislate for a budget for the region at Westminster.

However, he decided to extend the deadline as he believed the parties had made “progress” in their negotiations.

After another full day of talks on Tuesday both parties left Stormont after 9pm without any sign of a breakthrough.

Mr Brokenshire stayed in Belfast and will outline where the prospects for powersharing lie and whether he will push ahead and legislate for a budget, or further defer the process in the hope the parties can find a compromise.

It was initially believed that he would address Westminster on the state of the crisis but it is now understood he will confirm plans in the House of Commons on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Sinn Fein negotiator Conor Murphy said if Westminster sets a budget for Northern Ireland, “this phase of the talks process is over”.

He also admitted there is a “credibility issue” the longer the talks drag on.

The Northern Ireland Executive collapsed in January and the region has been without a powersharing government since then.

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


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