Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has contacted representatives from Sinn Fein and the DUP following the collapse of power sharing talks in Northern Ireland. Despite hopes for an agreement there is limited hope of any substantial progress being made in the near future.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said:
“The Prime Minister spoke to the leaders of Sinn Fein and the DUP on the phone earlier this evening about the recent phase of political talks in Northern Ireland. In both phone calls the Prime Minister expressed her disappointment that an agreement had not yet been reached despite recent progress being made by everyone involved.
She reiterated how the government remains absolutely committed to restoring an Executive and that it is still her firm belief that restoring devolved government – so that democratically elected politicians can make locally accountable decisions – is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister was clear that she still believes the basis for an agreement exists and recognised the leadership both parties had shown over past weeks and months. She urged them both to reflect on the recent phase of talks in order to find the best way forward.
On next steps, the Prime Minister was clear that the UK government has a responsibility to consider what needed to be done to protect the interests of Northern Ireland in the ongoing absence of an Executive. She added that the Northern Ireland Secretary would continue to work closely with the parties, and the Irish Government in accordance with the three stranded approach, to support that process”.