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Brokenshire says return of direct rule 'huge backward step'

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said failure to strike a powersharing deal in Northern Ireland would have "profound and serious" implications.

Mr Brokenshire was addressing the House of Commons during Northern Ireland Questions on Wednesday.

It comes after the DUP and Theresa May agreed a confidence and supply deal to support the Conservative minority government. There is just one full day for Stormont talks to bring back a power-sharing Executive.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire told the House of Commons: "The overriding priority for the UK Government in Northern Ireland remains the restoration of devolved power-sharing government in Stormont.

"The UK Government is working with the main Northern Ireland parties and, in accordance with the well-established three-stranded approach, the Irish Government to restore a fully functioning inclusive Executive and Assembly.

"But time is short and I would urge all concerned to use the narrow window which remains to look beyond their differences and see that an Executive is formed."

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From Belfast Telegraph