SF calls for 'energy' in drive to reach Stormont deal
SF calls for 'energy' in drive to reach Stormont deal
Image Theresa May with DUP leader Arlene Foster
28 June, 2017, 23:25
Northern Ireland's parties are due at Stormont this morning for a third day of negotiations.
Sinn Féin wants the act to focus exclusively on the rights of Irish speakers and putting Gaelic on a par in law with English.
The two largest in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein, remain at loggerheads over key issues like introducing an Irish Language Act to officially protect the minority tongue's use.
Both parties were involved in late-night discussions at Stormont Castle on Monday.
"The DUP have not moved on any of the substantive issue which sit at the heart of this crisis", he said.
For its part, the DUP urged Sinn Fein to stop indulging in "high-wire acts" and get down to the job of delivering for the people of Northern Ireland.
Logjams include Sinn Fein's demand for legislative protections for Irish language speakers and the question of whether Mrs Foster can return to the first minister's office while a public inquiry into a botched green energy scheme is ongoing.
There would be "profound and serious" implications if parties in Northern Ireland failed to agree on the creation of a new executive to govern, Britain's minister for the province said on Wednesday.
He told MPs: "Our focus is on seeing that an executive is restored and I have been clear on not wanting to pre-empt what may happen should that not be the case".
In a snap Stormont election, the Sinn Fein vote surged but parties failed to restore devolution in the six-week timeframe.
DUP negotiator Edwin Poots suggested a "parallel process" could be initiated where a coalition executive is formed while talks on the outstanding issues continued. "They haven't moved on any of the fundamental rights and equality issues that require to be embraced", he said.
"We will be happy to run D'Hondt (to select ministers) tomorrow and continue with negotiations in a fair and reasonable manner to get the solutions". A number of attempts to restore powersharing in the wake of that poll floundered, with three British government deadlines for a deal having already been missed.
"We want to work with them to try to find a way through".
Ms Thewliss wanted to know how the Conservative government could act with impartiality between unionists and Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland, given its dependence on the support of the DUP.
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