Stormont talks: Theresa May and Leo Varadkar in Belfast to meet Northern Ireland's political leaders as power-sharing deal is in sight
The Prime Minister and Taoiseach are in Belfast holding talks at Stormont in a bid to help end the 13-month political stalemate in Northern Ireland.
Theresa May and Leo Varadkar arrived at Stormont House before lunch, ahead of a bilateral meeting to discuss the impasse.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley and Prime Minister Theresa May sit down with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney ahead of meetings with Northern Ireland political parties. pic.twitter.com/uSvSIYhD9D— Northern Ireland Office (@NIOgov) February 12, 2018
Meeting with @Number10gov Theresa May and her officials in Belfast, constructive talks on restoring power sharing and Brexit. Next up: meeting leaders of the Northern Irish parties pic.twitter.com/RvHcIpjh3Q— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) February 12, 2018
The Belfast Telegraph exclusively revealed last Thursday that Sinn Fein and the DUP were very close to a deal, which sees significant compromise by both sides to end the political stalemate.
- Stormont talks: Prime Minister and Taoiseach head to Belfast as power-sharing deal is in sight
- Stormont deal imminent: Foster to be First Minister, progress on Irish language, same-sex marriage on cards
- Mary Lou McDonald says Sinn Fein can 'do business' with Arlene Foster
Talks sources last night described Monday as a "huge day" in the negotiations.
A Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May would take part in a series of meetings at Stormont House, and encouraged Sinn Fein and the DUP to resolve their differences.
A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said that he and Mrs May would assess the state of play in the negotiations between the two parties.
On Monday Mr Varadkar tweeted that he had met with Secretary of State Karen Bradley ahead of the day's meetings.
Earlier today the Prime Minister met aircraft workers at Bombardier’s Belfast factory in the wake of the company’s trade battle victory in the United States.
Theresa May toured the plant floor where the wings of the Canadian manufacturer’s C Series jets are built.
Bombardier’s bitter trade dispute with Boeing had threatened jobs at the Belfast plant after the United States trade authorities sided with the US company and proposed a 292% tariff on the import of its rival’s planes into the country.
Good to meet Secretary of State Karen Bradley at start of today’s meetings in Belfast pic.twitter.com/iV8xmYykPo— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) February 12, 2018
There was a huge sigh of relief in Belfast when that decision was overturned by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington DC last month.
One thousand of the 4,000 strong workforce at the Belfast factory work on the C Series production line.
Belfast Telegraph Digital