Monday 23 July 2018

Sinn Féin and DUP closer to agreement

DUP leader Arlene Foster Photo: Gareth Chaney
DUP leader Arlene Foster Photo: Gareth Chaney

David Young

Sinn Féin and the DUP are hammering out details of a potential deal that could end Stormont's 13-month power-sharing crisis.

Northern Ireland's two main parties were locked in negotiations throughout yesterday, scrubbing a scheduled round-table meeting with the region's smaller parties, amid mounting speculation an agreement may be in sight.

On Friday evening, Sinn Féin and the DUP acknowledged progress had been made towards a breakthrough, but insisted issues remained.

Both parties said the talks process should conclude next week.

Outgoing party president Gerry Adams, who steps down today, said: "It isn't sorted out as we speak. We have made some progress, but there are still considerable obstacles but as I said to our unionist friends, this is the last chance agreement.

"They need to embrace the need for rights for everybody and agree a space where we can all moderate our differences."

The DUP's Arlene Foster added: "We have had a very intensive week of discussions. Progress has been made.

"We have more work to do. I have set out the parameters for a deal. It must be fair and balanced.

"Our negotiating team will continue working next week. I want to see ministerial led government restored to Northern Ireland.

"I hope that can be achieved by devolved Government and will work towards that end."

Irish Independent

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