Belfast Telegraph

Gerry Adams: Sinn Fein opposed to extension of powersharing deadline

Sinn Fein has insisted there can be no extension to the looming deadline to restore powersharing at Stormont.

The deadline to form a new Executive runs out on Monday.

If no deal is reached by March 27 to restore powersharing, Northern Ireland could face another snap election - the third election in the space of 12 months.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire will have to decide whether to bring back direct rule and call another election or extend the period of negotiation.

However, Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has said the party is opposed to any extension of Monday's deadline as there "cannot be continuous negotiation and re-negotiation of agreements already made."

This is the third week of talks since the election, but parties are still divided over contentious issues such as legacy and an Irish language act.

"There is only a very short time to form the Executive for the northern Assembly. So far, there is no agreement to do this. Sinn Fein has made it clear that there can be no return to the status quo," said Mr Adams.

He said he believes agreement is possible in the coming days. He also stressed that Sinn Fein is opposed to any extension of Monday's deadline or a return to direct rule.

"The Irish government is the co-equal guarantor of the Good Friday and subsequent Agreements. The Taoiseach needs to make it clear by deed as well as word that the government will implement in full its obligations and hold the British government to account for its obligations, internationally if need be," he added.

Mr Adams also called for anti-Brexit parties and independents across Ireland to form a coalition "to combat the consequences of Brexit."

He said Brexit will mean a hard border, will cost jobs and "have a devastating impact on our agricultural and agri-foods sectors".

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