Northern Ireland power-sharing talks collapse

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Power Sharing Talks Continues Between DUP And Sinn Fein
Arlene Foster said there was no prospect of a deal (Source: Getty)

Talks to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland have collapsed, just two days after the UK and Ireland's leaders said progress had been made.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster said there was "no prospect" of an agreement with Sinn Fein, and slammed Theresa May's visit to Belfast this week as unhelpful.

DUP negotiator Simon Hamilton said that the visits of May and Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday had given a false sense of progress.

The UK government could now need to impose a budget on Northern Ireland in order for regional departments to function.

Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley said: "The position of the UK Government remains the same: devolved government is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland and is best for the Union. I believe the basis for an accommodation still exists."

Owen Smith MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland said: “Karen Bradley will now have to explain how she hopes to get the DUP back to the table, and if that proves impossible, how she is going to take forward issues such as equal marriage, as well as dealing with tough decisions on health, education and infrastructure that have been left unresolved for over 400 days.”

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