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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Talks to restore Northern Ireland power-sharing collapse: DUP

Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party said there was "no current prospect" of an executive being formed

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said there is "no current prospect" of a power-sharing deal being reached. Clodagh Kilcoyne/ Reuters
DUP leader Arlene Foster has said there is "no current prospect" of a power-sharing deal being reached. Clodagh Kilcoyne/ Reuters

Talks to restore a power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland collapsed on Wednesday and the former first minister called on the British government to take control over policymaking.

"In our view, there is no current prospect of these discussions leading to an executive being formed," Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), said in a statement.

She said there remained "serious and significant gaps" between the pro-British DUP and the republican Sinn Fein party over the issue of the use of the Irish language in Northern Ireland.

"It is now incumbent upon Her Majesty's government to set a budget and start making policy decisions about our schools, hospitals and infrastructure," Mrs Foster said.

"Important decisions impacting on everyone in Northern Ireland have been sitting in limbo for too long."

The devolved government in Belfast has been suspended since January 2017, when Sinn Fein pulled out of the power-sharing arrangement with the DUP, citing a breakdown in trust.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, flew in for talks on Monday, raising hopes that a deal was close.

On Tuesday, Mrs Foster said their presence had proved a "bit of a distraction" as it interrupted negotiations.

A day later, she said: "Restoring a sustainable and fully functioning devolved government will remain our goal but we will not accept a one-sided deal."

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Read more:

DUP and Sinn Fein edge closer to power sharing deal

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