Brokenshire to update MPs on deadlocked Stormont talks

James Brokenshire

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James Brokenshire is expected to outline to MPs the government’s next steps if a deal is not struck

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is due to update Parliament later on the status of the talks to restore power-sharing at Stormont.

The negotiations between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin will resume on Wednesday after they broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement.

The parties are attempting to end a 10-month deadlock that has left the region without a devolved administration.

It is understood that they have made little progress on key dividing issues.

Mr Brokenshire is expected to outline to MPs in the House of Commons the government’s next steps if a deal to restore devolution is not struck.

Plans have already been put in place at Westminster to legislate for a Northern Ireland budget if there is no agreement at Stormont.

The DUP has said it wants to see the government press ahead with its budget plan, but Sinn Féin has warned that doing so move will force an end to the negotiations.

The government extended the deadline of the talks on Monday night, reporting that the parties had made “progress” during the day.

The parties have failed to reach an agreement in spite of numerous rounds of discussions since March, after the Northern Ireland Executive collapsed amid a bitter split between the parties in January.

Sinn Féin’s demand for legislation to give official status to the Irish language viewed as the main issue that the parties stand divided on in their discussions.

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