Stormont Stalemate; DEAL DEADLINE PASSES; ..but Brokenshire Gives Politicians Last Chance to Resolve Differences

The Mirror (London, England), March 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Stormont Stalemate; DEAL DEADLINE PASSES; ..but Brokenshire Gives Politicians Last Chance to Resolve Differences


Byline: MIRROR REPORTERS

POLITICAL parties have a "short few weeks" to strike a deal to save Stormont, the North's Secretary of State James Brokenshire warned.

A deadline for forming a new powersharing Executive passed yesterday without agreement.

The British Government can now call another election or reintroduce direct rule. But Mr Brokenshire indicated he will delay taking action to allow the parties more time to resolve their differences.

Without an Executive or agreed budget for the upcoming financial year, control of Stormont's finances will be handed to a senior civil servant tomorrow, albeit subject to tight spending constraints.

Mr Brokenshire said that was "not sustainable" and made clear the final window for negotiations would not be allowed to drift.

He added: "I think there are a short few weeks in order to resolve matters.

"The reason I say that is because of the stark issue in relation to public services here in Northern Ireland and the lack of a budget having been set.

"Therefore it is the impact on public services on having an extended period that is very much at the forefront of my mind in terms of the responsibilities we have as the UK Government to provide that assurance to the public here."

Mr Brokenshire rejecte criticism of the Government's handling of the talks and defended the fact Prime Minister Theresa May did not take part. …

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