Tuesday 16 July 2019

DUP objects to pausing talks in North


DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Suzanne Breen

The DUP has voiced its opposition to pausing power-sharing talks in the North for the summer holidays as discussions to restore devolution continue at Stormont today.

A rumoured announcement by the Irish and UK governments that the negotiations would be put on hold for the next two months never materialised yesterday.

UK Secretary of State Karen Bradley and Tánaiste Simon Coveney hosted a stocktake with the party leaders at Stormont yesterday, and another round-table meeting is scheduled for this afternoon.

Stormont sources said they did not believe that any announcement to suspend the talks for the summer was imminent.

They said that while progress was slow, the negotiations could continue over the summer holiday period if a deal was not reached this month. DUP leader Arlene Foster said there had been "constructive engagement" between the parties, but "significant gaps remained".

"Whilst there has been some speculation about pausing the process, we would not be in favour of that," she said. "We need to crack the issues and get decision-making restored to Northern Ireland.

"People are frustrated and suffering because of the lack of an executive."

Irish Independent

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