Northern Ireland Deadline Passes Without Agreement; Talks To Continue

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Northern Ireland Deadline Passes Without Agreement; Talks To Continue

Northern Ireland has until Thursday to conclude negotiations and form a power-sharing government, but talks have stalled and been delayed, leading many to think that the deadline will not be met, Efe news reported.

James Brokenshire, the Northern Ireland secretary, had warned this week that a failure to reach a deal would have "profound and serious consequences" but would allow the parties to continue discussions over the weekend.

If a deal is not reached Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire will have to decide whether to order a second election in six months or return full powers to London for the first time in a decade.

"Talks will continue. We can conclude this within days but that is not in our gift".

A crucial sticking point in the way of a deal appears to be Sinn Fein's demand for an Irish Language Act, which would bestow official protections for Gaelic speakers.

He said the United Kingdom government will work with the parties toward their "critical objective" of forming an executive, but that he has made clear to party leaders that it is for them to reach an agreement that will pave the way for this.

Mr Poots said Mr Brokenshire would make a statement to the House of Commons on Monday outlining the way ahead in the wake of yet another broken deadline.

A so-called hybrid model which would also cover the Ulster-Scots language has been proposed as an alternative by the DUP and would have to be accepted by Sinn Fein for progress to be made.

Earlier this year The Debrief went to Belfast to meet Northern Irish abortion rights activists.

A scheduled Assembly sitting to nominate ministers was axed, with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) negotiators announcing that there will be "no breakthrough" in the talks on Thursday.

The Government intends to fund abortions in England for women arriving from Northern Ireland, where it is illegal, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

The DUP has told Sinn Fein to stop indulging in "high-wire acts" and get down to the job of delivering for the people.

Emma Gallen, who is in her early twenties and campaigns as part of the Alliance for Choice, said that this announcement was "a fantastic step in the right direction" but added "it's still just a step".

"We have always said this can be done in a matter of hours, the issues are very clear, there are still gaps in terms of trying to establish a rights-based approach to these institutions working, as per the Good Friday Agreement".

"The Government's position continues to be that we want to see safe abortion services provided for women who may need them - within the bounds of the law".

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