No going back, despite impasse up at Stormont
Given the current impasse, any formal suspension of Stormont and its institutions and the likelihood of the imposition of direct rule could be unlawful.
The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) is an agreement between the British and Irish governments that gives effect to constitutional change within Northern Ireland. It does not dispose itself to a breach of the agreement just because it is expedient.
Any attempt to go back to direct rule is an affront to the agreement and should not be considered - as a matter of law.
Nationalists and especially unionists must accept that constitutional change has, in fact, happened to Northern Ireland over many instruments made by the British and Irish governments and been consummated in the GFA.
The train has left the platform and there is no going back either for unionists, nationalists, or the two governments.