Belfast Telegraph

Make final push for sake of people of Northern Ireland: PM Theresa May urges parties to reach deal

By Jonathan Bell

Prime Minister Theresa May has told the Northern Ireland parties they have one final chance to restore the Stormont institutions.

Mrs May was speaking after flying into Belfast on Monday. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also made the trip to the city with speculation a deal on restoring the Northern Ireland institutions was imminent.

Speaking at Stormont House, she said she had spoke with the leaders of the main parties involved.

"I have urged them to make one final push for the sake of the people of Northern Ireland," she said.

"It has been 13 long months since we last saw devolved government here and we are now at the point where it is for the local elected representatives to find a way to work together to find a deal with the many pressing issues facing Northern Ireland."

She described her meetings with the five main parties as "full and frank".

"There is the basis for an agreement - it should be possible to see an Executive up and running very soon.

"The DUP and Sinn Fein have been working very hard to close the remaining gaps but I'd also like to recognise the contribution of the other parties too.

"We all are fully committed to do everything we can to support this and as far as Westminster is concerned we stand ready to legislate for the re-establishment of an Executive as soon as possible after an agreement."

Asked if she would return to Northern Ireland to sign off on any deal, the Prime Minister did not respond.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside Stormont House in Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside Stormont House in Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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