June 23. 2024. 12:12

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Irish PM seeks to restore Northern Ireland power-sharing within coming months


Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, pledged on Sunday (9 April) to work with Rishi Sunak in an intensified effort to restore power-sharing government to Northern Ireland. He hopes to end the impasse in the coming months.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has been boycotting the devolved assembly for a year, in protest at post Brexit trade rules, has announced that it will not abandon the deal made by the United Kingdom in February to reduce trade barriers.

London stated that it will not negotiate any portion of the new agreement.

Varadkar stated that they had put in a lot of effort over the past few months to reach an agreement on revisions, reforms and changes to the protocol. He was referring to the check on goods between Northern Ireland (and the rest of the UK) which has angered many pro British unionists.

"The next step now is deep engagement both with the British government as well as with the five Northern Ireland parties to try and get these institutions up and running again. I will certainly be intensifying my contact with Prime Minister Sunak over the next few week."

Varadkar stated that he would seek to restore the mandatory power-sharing government in the "next few months". He noted that the May local council elections and July’s annual marching season — which often spark sectarian tensions in some areas — could make it more difficult for a deal to be reached in the short-term.

Despite the fact that most Northern Irish voters are opposed to the revised Brexit deal according to opinion polls, stated its concerns about the EU law’s continued role and Northern Ireland’s position in the UK’s inner market.

This latest suspension casts a shadow on Monday’s 25th anniversary the Good Friday Agreement. US President Joe Biden will visit Northern Ireland today (11 April) to commemorate the end of three decades of bloodshed.

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Since its introduction as part the peace agreement, power-sharing has been subject to many failures. Each time it was restored after lengthy political negotiations. The most recent was from 2017 to 2020.

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