Britain gives Northern Ireland parties more time to reach power-sharing deal

She said she did not believe another election would solve anything.

Northern Ireland's latest unity government collapsed in January amid deepening disputes between the British Protestants of the Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish Catholics of Sinn Fein. "We are just disappointed that Sinn Fein did not come to the talks in the same spirit as we came to the talks".

Sinn Fein's walk-out from the Executive means it has jeopardised the very welfare concessions which it previously insisted upon, according to a unionist MP.

"It seems she simply doesn't care, maybe doesn't know what the full implications are for the people who live along the border", he claimed.

"We are standing firm".

Without a ruling executive or agreed budget for the upcoming financial year, control of Stormont's finances will be handed to a senior civil servant on Wednesday, subject to tight spending constraints.

The then deputy first minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest over the Democratic Unionists' handling of the scheme.

"In these circumstances", he said, "all concerned must redouble efforts to achieve the re-establishment of power-sharing government in Northern Ireland, which is so plainly in the interests of all its citizens".

Britain's system of "direct rule" ran from 1972, the deadliest year of Northern Ireland's conflict, until the Good Friday peace accord of 1998 paved the way for the first of several Catholic-Protestant coalitions in Belfast.

"The DUP's approach thus far has been to engage in a minimalist way on all of the key issues, including legacy issues; an Irish Language Act; a Bill of Rights; and marriage equality", Adams said.

While Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has become one of the most vocal critics of May's Brexit strategy, Northern Ireland's leaders have been relatively muted.

The deadline to form a new government passed on Monday without an agreement after talks collapsed on Sunday.

He declined to be drawn on calls for an independent mediator to be appointed to inject fresh impetus to negotiations that some politicians have described as a "shambles" to date.

"If that happens we will withdraw our support for that process", Donaldson said. He questioned why there had been no round table meeting of all the parties during the negotiations. "Obviously while we maintain contact with all interested parties it is about building bridges with all the parties [in Northern Ireland]".

Sinn Féin's northern leader, Michelle O'Neill, previously stated that the British government had to deliver on unfinished business.

LONDON, March 28 The British government will have to consider all options including direct rule from London if talks to resolve a political crisis in Northern Ireland and set up a new devolved government there fail, Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire said on Tuesday.

Speaking after the passing of a three-week deadline to form a new government following the March 2 election, he said there was no appetite for a suspension of devolution and a return to direct rule from London.

  • Leroy Wright