Belfast Telegraph

Brexit 'could lead to united Ireland push', says Richard Haass

Brexit and the current Stormont stalemate could bring about a push for Irish unity, former US diplomat Richard Haass has claimed.

Haasst, who previously chaired political negotiations here, said poor leadership, Brexit and failure to deal with the legacy of the past was to blame for the impasse.

Dr Haass, the current president of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, expressed hope that the political deadlock would not usher in a return to violence.

He tweeted: "Northern Ireland at a crisis point, the result of poor leadership, Brexit and a failure to deal with the past.

"Agree that the current impasse likely to lead to restructuring of its politics and/or push for Irish unification. Hoping it does not lead to any resumption of violence."

Dr Haass was in 2013 drafted in to chair talks aimed at averting the collapse of power-sharing.

Despite weeks of cross-party negotiations in Belfast, the American diplomat failed to find a breakthrough on the thorny issues of flags, parading and the legacy of the Troubles.

He previously served as special envoy to the region under the presidency of George W Bush.

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