UK, Irish leaders seek to break Northern Ireland stalemate

UK, Irish leaders seek to break Northern Ireland stalemate

UK, Irish leaders seek to break Northern Ireland stalemate

Irish and United Kingdom governments are set for talks on Thursday with Sinn Fein over the most recent attempt to bring back power sharing that ended up collapsing.

According to DUP leader Arlene Foster, the talks failed due to disagreements with Sinn Fein about legislation for the Irish language.

She said it included an Irish Language Act, an Ulster Scots Act and a Respecting Language and Diversity Act.

Sources close to the negotiations told Reuters that some DUP members had issues with the proposed compromise and "robustly raised" their concerns earlier this week.

Sinn Fein has accused its erstwhile partners-in-government of backing out of an accommodation allegedly struck last week, claiming the main unionist party balked at criticism of the rumoured deal from some of its supporters.

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"We had a way forward on all the issues", said Michelle O'Neill, the party's leader in Northern Ireland.

Mrs McDonald said they would not disclose all the details of the deal to honour any future confidentiality should the talks restart, but they would provide both the British and Irish governments with the full text.

She also said that the justice ministry would have become part of the usual d'hondt selection for the parties by 2022.

"At that time we advised the DUP leadership that the deal should be closed before those opposed to it could unpick what we had achieved", said the Sinn Fein leader.

British minister Karen Bradley said London continues to believe that "devolved government is in the best interests of everyone", adding: "I believe the basis for accommodation still exists".

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The latest round of talks to restore a power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland collapsed on Wednesday, prompting the former first minister to call on the British government to take control. "That's why we had to take the responsible decision yesterday to get a budget so that those services can be maintained".

Civil servants have run the government in Northern Ireland since the administration collapsed, with major spending and policy decisions deferred.

"Certainly there is no appetite to move toward direct rule (from London)". The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues separating Northern Ireland's British unionists and Irish nationalists.

Foster and the DUP to raze the Northern Ireland government over the canard that an Irish Language Act is a "new demand" is unconscionable.

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