Belfast Telegraph

We have to consider practical steps: Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley reacts as talks collapse

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley has said she will have to consider "practical steps" after the collapse of talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

She said that while "substantive progress" had been made in recent weeks, "this phase of talks has reached a conclusion".

"I would urge everyone to reflect on the circumstances that have led to this and reflect on their positions now and in the future.

"The position of the UK Government remains the same. Devolved government is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland and is best for the union."

Mrs Bradley said she believed a deal to restore government in Northern Ireland - after a 13-month absence - could still be reached. Any deal would require the passing of legislation from London in order to activate the institutions.

In the past year, former Secretary of State James Brokenshire commissioned a report which recommended cutting MLA pay over the year if the institutions were not restored.

"As the Prime Minister said on Monday we are ready to bring forward legislation to enable an Executive to be formed," continued the Secretary of State.

"We will continue to work with everyone to make sure we do deliver this.

"We now need to consider practical steps. In the continued absence of an Executive challenging decisions will have to be taken by the UK Government and I will update parliament after recess."

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