Stormont talks: Urgent need to restore devolution says Coveney

Stormont talks: Urgent need to restore devolution says Coveney

May is now seeking backing from the DUP, a Northern Irish party, for her minority Conservative government after she lost her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election.

Her entire Brexit strategy is being picked apart in public by her ministers, her lawmakers and her allies on the eve of formal negotiations which begin in Brussels on Monday. “Even if there weren’t a deadline of the 29th I think there is a sense of urgency here that Northern Ireland needs its own voice again in the context of Brexit”, he added.

Her comments follow warnings by Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Alliance Party, that a deal with the DUP would undermine the British Government’s attempts to restore the power-sharing executive at Stormont.

The turmoil of the eurozone crisis, fears in Britain about immigration and a series of miscalculations by former Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Britain to vote by 52 to 48 percent for Brexit in a June 23 referendum previous year.

“We spoke about the very important need for both governments to be impartial actors when it comes to Northern Ireland and that we are co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and that any agreement that may exist between the Conservatives and the DUP should not in any way impact on the Good Friday Agreement”, he said.

“I will be making that case tomorrow for example despite the fact that it should really be a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister there to meet Michel Barnier or others to make the case for Northern Ireland”. Now Sinn Fein says a Brexit “hard” border will damage the economy, and goes against the wishes of the majority.

“Having an executive up and running – an executive that can speak for both communities in Northern Ireland – would be a big advantage for Northern Ireland”.

Following talks in Downing Street with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Mrs May said the terms of any arrangement between the Conservatives and the DUP would be made public once they were agreed.

DUP senior negotiator Simon Hamilton hoped that the DUP-Tory talks would conclude soon.

She repeated that Sinn Féin wanted to reach agreement but one that was based on equality, respect and integrity.

Referring to the financial controversies that were part of the executive’s collapse earlier this year, including the “cash for ash” scandal linked to Ms Foster, Mr Kearney said these continued to overshadow the region.

“He also acknowledged the importance of the vote of the people in the North to remain part of the European Union”.