After months of deadlock, a last-minute meeting of Northern Irish elected officials on Thursday, October 27, failed to break the political deadlock. Post-Brexit status In the province, early elections now seem inevitable.
The unionist DUP party, which opposes post-Brexit provisions, has refused to take part in the local assembly, preventing the formation of an executive with the republicans of Sinn Féin, who won local elections in May.
Not enough progress
London parties have been given until Friday to find a solution, failing which an early election will be called. But DUP leader Geoffrey Donaldson dashed hopes of a deal in the afternoon assembly before the session began.
“We don’t think enough progress has been made“, he said. He recalled the DUP’s position.And so it continued“From May, That Means Party”An executive will not participate until decisive action is taken regarding the protocol“.
The border puzzle
Unionists concerned with Northern Ireland’s membership of the United Kingdom want to scrap the deal negotiated between London and Brussels at the time of Brexit, which establishes a special customs status for the province to avoid the return of a physical border. Neighboring Republic of Ireland. According to them, the protocol undermines the integrity of the United Kingdom because it creates a de facto customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the country.
DUP Boycott Blocks Local Bodies That’s because although Sinn Féin, who is in favor of reunifying the island of Ireland, won elections in the province in May, the 1998 peace accord that ended three decades of conflict stipulates that the executive should share. Unionists, especially Protestants, Republicans, mostly Catholics.
“At a time when many workers, families and businesses are suffering from the cost of living crisis (…) people need to know they can count on us“, Sinn Féin’s Northern Irish leader Michelle O’Neill, who was due to become the province’s premier in May, confirmed to MPs.
“Here we are in this chamber today“, she added. “We can appoint a president, a prime minister, a deputy prime minister and a new executive who can take immediate action to put money in people’s pockets. But the DUP continues to deny the May election results.“In the absence of the government, London is handling the current affairs, but many files have been frozen.
“hurry up“, British Minister for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris reiterated on Wednesday evening”Election will be called“For not reaching an agreement by midnight on Thursday evening. He traveled to Belfast on Wednesday to try to convince the various parties to reach an agreement. Just “We (the DUP) are calling for a return to the Assembly as the people of Northern Ireland deserve an elected and functioning local executive.“Downing Street insisted on Thursday.
London wants to renegotiate the deal with Brussels, accepting only minor adjustments. Previous British governments have unilaterally introduced a bill to change the protocol, angering Brussels. Confronted by the crisis in his first week in office, new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has discussed the issue with his Irish counterpart, Michael Martin, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. He assured them that priority will be given “Discuss and resolve“.
Meanwhile, DUP leader Geoffrey Donaldson himself said “Ready for battleelection, within six months of the last election. He warned that the election campaign of the party has already been approved. His party’s defeat in past elections reflects an underlying trend in the British province, initially created for unionist Protestants: Catholics are now outnumbered there, according to a recent census, encouraging supporters of reunification with the Republic of Ireland. .
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