Stormont power-sharing talks deadline extended

Stormont power-sharing talks deadline extended

Northern Ireland politicians will be given more time to reach a deal to restore a power-sharing executive at Stormont, the BBC understands.

The secretary of state, James Brokenshire, had set early May as the deadline for the current talks process.

It is thought the new deadline will be the end of June.

The provisions to form an executive by that date will be included in emergency legislation that will be fast tracked through Westminster.

The BBC understands the deadline extension is to allow for more talks after the Westminster election on 8 June.


Mr Brokenshire has been briefing party leaders about the details that will be published on Friday.

The secretary of state is under pressure from nationalist parties angry at the prime minister's decision to call a general election in the middle of the Stormont stalemate: Sinn Fein and the SDLP have been scathing about the snap election.

Stormont power-sharing talks deadline extended

They say it exposes the government's lack of interest in the ongoing negotiations at Stormont, where round-table discussions aimed at restoring power-sharing are due to resume next week.

Earlier, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill said she believed the "British government would prefer no assembly to one which opposes Brexit".

"It's clear that the people of the north who voted to remain in the EU are regarded as saboteurs by Theresa May and her clique of Tory Brexiteers.

"We are no more than collateral damage," she added.

Alliance leader Naomi Long said that people were "never in a compromising mood coming up to an election".

However, she said it would be better for Northern Ireland if an agreement could be reached soon.

Stormont power-sharing talks deadline extended

Meanwhile, it has emerged the SDLP is pushing ahead with its plan to form an anti-Brexit alliance with other parties in the run up to the general election - and its leader, Colum Eastwood, has held exploratory talks with the Green Party in Northern Ireland on the issue.

"We are interested in a conversation with any party who is interested in protecting the interests of people in Northern Ireland in the face of a hard Brexit," he told the BBC's Evening Extra programme.

"I went out of my way to speak to Steven Agnew (Green Party NI leader). I asked him to consider how we best take this forward."

On Wednesday, MPs voted overwhelmingly to back the prime minister's call for a snap general election on 8 June - three years ahead of schedule.

Shadow secretary of state Dave Anderson accused the prime minister of treating the people of Northern Ireland with contempt by calling the snap poll.

He said: "They're being ignored by this government in exactly the same way as they were ignored pre-Brexit when people were saying to them: 'Are you really aware what you're doing?'"

In a separate development, emergency legislation clearing the way for the collection of rates in Northern Ireland is to be published on Friday.

Mr Brokenshire had promised to bring forward a bill at Westminster to allow rates bills to be issued.

It is one of a number of planned contingency moves to deal with pressures caused by the ongoing political crisis.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Made In Chelsea's Louise Thompson reveals she used to look like EastEnders' Pat Butcher as shares disastrous fashion faux pas of the past

Made In Chelsea's Louise Thompson reveals she used to look like EastEnders' Pat Butcher as..

26-Apr, 13:40

And now the stunning 27 year old year old has opened up about how her...

Hong Kong disqualified activists charged with illegal assembly

Hong Kong disqualified activists charged with illegal assembly..

26-Apr, 06:56

Two Hong Kong pro-independence activists who were disqualified from...

Sam Faiers shares sweetest video of son baby Paul and niece Nelly from the plane as Billie Faiers takes newborn Arthur on first family holiday

Sam Faiers shares sweetest video of son baby Paul and niece Nelly from the plane as Billie..

25-Apr, 17:56

And sharing a video from the plane Sam showed off her baby boy Paul...

Vicky Pattison shares heartfelt post to boyfriend John Noble as she admits 'long distance relationships are tough' days after sharing adorable weekend snap with beau

Vicky Pattison shares heartfelt post to boyfriend John Noble as she admits 'long distance..

26-Apr, 16:17

And now, the reality star has admitted she's feeling the pressures of...

The Latest: Pakistani ambassador summoned by Afghanistan

The Latest: Pakistani ambassador summoned by Afghanistan..

18-Feb, 04:24

The Latest on developments in Pakistan (all times local): 2:05 p.m. The...

Trump plans office to bring business ideas to government

Trump plans office to bring business ideas to government..

27-Mar, 01:17

President Donald Trump is set to announce a new White House office run by...

Ashton Kutcher blows a kiss to Sen. John McCain

Ashton Kutcher blows a kiss to Sen. John McCain..

15-Feb, 14:46

Actor Ashton Kutcher and Arizona Sen. John McCain shared a playful moment...

Other mysterious deaths of North Korea's perceived enemies

Other mysterious deaths of North Korea's perceived enemies..

03-Mar, 20:37

An outcast from North Korea's ruling family was killed with a weapon...