Belfast Telegraph

Fianna Fail leader calls on DUP and Sinn Fein to establish Executive to deal with Brexit

The leader of Fianna Fail has called on the DUP and Sinn Fein to restore a powersharing Executive at Stormont in a bid to deal with Brexit negotiations.

Speaking on Saturday during his party's annual Ard Fheis in Dublin, Micheál Martin said that Northern Ireland's voice was not being heard in negotiations as a result of the current political impasse.

He said: "Central to getting through Brexit is for the northern executive and assembly to be re-established.

"Northern Ireland is not at the table and its voice cannot be heard.

"The failure of Sinn Féin and the DUP to govern is threatening the progress achieved over the last 20 years.

"It is leaving Northern Ireland with no say as the Tory-civil war continues to make a bad Brexit decision even worse.

"They need to get back to doing what they were elected to do and are still being paid to do - establish a government and work for the people."

However on Saturday the DUP ruled out any immediate return of an Executive at Stormont.

In a blow to the British and Irish governments' hopes that a deal to bring back Stormont is close, the DUP said "significant areas of difference" remained with Sinn Fein.

In a statement the DUP said: "Any notion that an agreement is imminent and that the Assembly will meet next week has no basis in fact given the present state of the talks."

Months of talks aimed at restoring powersharing have so far failed, with former partners Sinn Fein and the DUP unable to reach agreement on a number of key areas, including an Irish Language Act and legacy issues.

The DUP insisted it remained "committed to trying to secure an agreement that can be supported by unionists as well as nationalists".

The party also said while progress had been made in the talks, "much more work" was necessary.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said he agreed with the DUP that there were unresolved issues.

Speaking in Dublin, he added: "The reasons they haven't been resolved is because the DUP has to get itself into a psychological space which so far it has resisted and that is the rights which people will have everywhere in these islands, that they can also have in the North."

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