Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland political 'crisis' could bring push for united Ireland: Richard Haass

A former US diplomat who chaired previous political negotiations in Northern Ireland has predicted the current crisis could bring a push for Irish unity.

Richard Haass said a combination of poor leadership, Brexit and failure to deal with the legacy of the past had created the problems facing Stormont.

Mr 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.

In 2013, Mr Haass was drafted in to chair crunch talks aimed at averting the collapse of powersharing.

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

On Tuesday, Mr Haass tweeted: "Northern Ireland at a crisis point, the result of poor leadership, Brexit, & 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."

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