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05/09/2017

Brokenshire: Window Of Opportunity Is Closing

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire said if Stormont fails to reach a deal the UK government may be forced to intervene.

He also warned that the window is closing in on a deal to restore power-sharing in NI.

Mr Brokenshire said: "I don't want to have to take this action, my intent is for politicians in Northern Ireland to form an executive. I'm not going to pretend that this is easy as clear differences remain but it does remain achievable."

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein Northern leader Michelle O'Neill said a commitment is needed from all parties and both Governments to get "actively re-engaged in a short, sharp, and meaningful negotiation process".

She said: "We have a short timeframe in front of us. This time is critical and must not be wasted. 
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"I have also reaffirmed my view to Mr Brokenshire that the political onus is on him to deliver on the legacy inquest funding, and not allow the Tory partnership with the DUP at Westminster to deny the delivery of rights here, which are enjoyed by citizens elsewhere on these islands."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the public will rightly be losing hope.

"The SDLP made clear to the Secretary of State that we remain of the view that a deal is still doable – but only if the political will exists do one. We are clear that any return to a formal talks process requires meaningful engagement on all issues and with all parties if we are to break the deadlock," said Mr Eastwood.

"While we are not blind to the challenges facing parties in the talks, we know that these issues are not insurmountable. But it’s time all of us, politicians, civic society and the public called time on smoke and mirror politics.

"Patients, elderly people needing care packages, school children and many others are paying the price for political failure, they deserve to know why. They deserve to know exactly what the critical issues are in terms of an Executive being formed and where each party stands on it."

(CD)

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