Urgency is needed for Stormont, says Coveney

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

The Sunday Times said ministers within May's cabinet had "let it be known" they would oust the prime minister if they thought she could not pass the government's legislative program in a vote expected on June 28.

Mr Coveney said the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels underlined the urgent need to get devolution back up and running in Belfast. Perhaps it is. But I'm going to ask a few questions first.

Newly-appointed Simon Coveney stressed the importance of getting an agreement that reflected the north's circumstances as he took part in talks to restore power-sharing at Stormont yesterday.

The newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister said an agreement should not be an accord struck only between the two largest parties - the DUP and Sinn Féin.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and European Union negotiator Michel Barnier confirmed the Brexit talks would start on Monday following preliminary talks between officials in Brussels.

Leo Varadkar had expressed concern about a possible deal between the Conservative party and the DUP. "I think it is very much doable to have a deal by the end of this month", she added.

"We also respect the other parties' mandates, we want to get back to an executive that has all the parties around the table to collectively take decisions".

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party is confident of securing a "sensible" deal with the small Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said on Tuesday.

The anticipated arrangement has forced the United Kingdom government to reject suggestions its commitment to act with impartiality in Northern Ireland - as set out in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement - will be fatally undermined by any pact with the DUP.

He believed that the Stormont power-sharing arrangements would be re-established over the summer between the DUP and Sinn Fein, but with the DUP in an even stronger position than before. Now Sinn Fein says a Brexit "hard" border will damage the economy, and goes against the wishes of the majority.

It also suggests a public consultation on plans to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, and details ways of making Northern Ireland's government more accountable.

He said: "I will do my utmost to support the parties in reaching an agreement which ensures the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement is fully protected, that all of its institutions function effectively and fairly and that previous agreements are honourably implemented".

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