Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland set to miss out on world record for longest time without government

Northern Ireland has been without a government since January 2017.
Northern Ireland has been without a government since January 2017.

Northern Ireland is set to miss out on the world record for being the country without a government for the longest period in peacetime.

In August, Northern Ireland will pass Belgium's current world record of 541 days without a government.

However, in a statement released to the BBC Guinness World Records have confirmed that Northern Ireland is not eligible for the record as laws can still be passed at Westminster.

"While the Northern Ireland Assembly has the power to make legislation relevant to the area, it is still limited with regard to certain powers and the Westminster parliament is technically still able to pass laws for any part of the UK, meaning that Northern Ireland still has a form of government in place," a Guinness World Records spokesperson told the BBC.

The Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed in 2017 when deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned in the wake of the RHI scandal, also citing issues around equality.

Subsequent attempts at restoring the institutions have proved fruitless, though Sinn Fein have claimed that a resolution was close in February 2018, before the DUP backed away from a proposed agreement, a claim the DUP deny.

It has been suggested that talks could be set to resume in October, but there has been disagreement among Northern Ireland's political parties over whether talks are supposed to take place.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has called for Theresa May's Government to start taking decisions for Northern Ireland with little hope remaining of institutions in Northern Ireland being restored.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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