Talks to save Northern Ireland’s power sharing government have ended and the basis for a deal now exists, Sinn Féin’s junior minister, Gerry Kelly, said today.
Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) have been locked in talks for two weeks to try to agree a deal at saving power-sharing in Northern Ireland despite disagreements over devolving policing and justice powers from London.
The DUP leader, Peter Robinson, is expected to address assembly colleagues as the focus now shifts to whether his party can sign up to the agreement.
The two parties have been involved in 10 days of discussions at Hillsborough Castle, Co Down, along with representatives of the British and Irish governments…
It emerged yesterday that Gordon Brown had warned unionists that the government would call a snap assembly election in Northern Ireland if they failed to reach a deal with Sinn Féin.
The Northern Ireland secretary, Shaun Woodward, also warned yesterday that failure to reach a deal between the parties would put at risk the £800m package to pay for the transfer of policing and justice powers to the Stormont assembly.
UPDATE: Resumption of the power-sharing agreement with Sinn Fein accepted by the DUP.