UK sets deadline for stalled Northern Ireland talks

London - Britain on Wednesday set a new deadline of October 30 for Northern Ireland's deadlocked political parties to reach a power-sharing deal, warning it would otherwise have to impose direct rule.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire told a parliamentary committee in London of the new date.

Brokenshire warned that without any signs of a deal by the end of the month, the government in Westminster would have to pass a budget for Northern Ireland, adding that "the prospects do not look positive at this time.

Break stalemate

"We're on a glide path to more Westminster intervention," he said. "I would like the parties to recognise the spirit of compromise.

"The best possible outcome is for locally elected politicians to make decisions and be held accountable by a locally elected assembly, that is the bedrock of the Belfast Agreement," he said, referring to a deal that ended three decades of fighting.

Northern Ireland's semi-autonomous government collapsed in January, after Sinn Fein pulled out of governing with their DUP counterparts over the handling of a renewable energy scheme.

Talks between the parties have since failed to break the stalemate, amid further wrangling over an Irish language law.

Budget allocation

Former US President Bill Clinton - who helped broker the 1998 peace accord - visited both countries on the island or Ireland on Tuesday and privately with Northern Irish leaders.

Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar conceded recent progress in easing the stalemate had stalled and sounded the alarm this week at the potential impact of a continued impasse.

"Their public services are about to run out of money because the budget allocation is running out," he said.

"Meanwhile, both the DUP and Sinn Fein are arguing about the intricacies of an Irish Language Act".

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1069 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
50% - 5318 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
36% - 3788 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 361 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.25
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.88
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
16.79
-0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.53
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.5%
Gold
1,787.16
-0.3%
Silver
20.43
-0.8%
Palladium
2,254.81
-0.0%
Platinum
959.73
+1.4%
Brent-ruolie
97.40
+1.1%
Top 40
63,765
+1.0%
All Share
70,418
+1.0%
Resource 10
65,042
+0.9%
Industrial 25
85,778
+1.4%
Financial 15
15,818
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE