30/01/2024

DUP Agrees Deal To End Boycott Of NI Powersharing

After a 23-month break, powersharing in Northern Ireland will be restored following a decision by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The DUP had been blocking a functioning assembly and executive due to concerns about post-Brexit trade arrangements.

In the early hours of today, 30 January, the DUP reached an agreement with the government which will see the party re-enter the institutions. However, their re-entry is subject to new legislation.

This means that the NI executive is likely to return before an 8 February deadline for forming an administration.

In a statement Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said: "The Party has concluded that subject to the binding commitments between the Democratic Unionist Party and the UK Government being fully and faithfully delivered as agreed, including the tabling and passing of new legislative measures in Parliament, and final agreement on a timetable, the package of measures in totality does provide a basis for our party to nominate members to the Northern Ireland Executive thus seeing the restoration of the locally elected institutions.
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"We recognise that significant further advances have been achieved through these negotiations and the details of the new package of measures will be published by the UK Government in due course.

"This package I believe safeguards Northern Ireland’s place in the Union and will restore our place within the UK Internal Market. It will remove checks for goods moving within the UK, and remaining in Northern Ireland, and will end Northern Ireland automatically following future EU laws.

"There will be legislation to provide new legal and practical protections for the Acts of Union and which guarantees unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the rest of the United Kingdom.

"In the coming days, in addition to the publication of the details of the new package of proposals, the UK Government will be required to deliver on the legislative commitments they have made to us.

"I am pleased to indicate that we have also secured a basis for cross-party support at Westminster for the measures negotiated. Therefore, regardless of who forms the next UK Government these agreed measures will be taken forward beyond the forthcoming General Election."

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