United Kingdom and Irish leaders search finish to Northern Eire stalemate

'No current prospect' of a deal at Stormont

Theresa May faces political crisis in Northern Ireland as DUP says there is 'no prospect' of power sharing deal and suggests return to direct rule

There was no breakthrough in talks to resolve Northern Ireland's 13-month power-sharing impasse on Monday, despite Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Theresa May visiting Belfast to meet the territory's political leaders.

The high-profile political duo arrived at Stormont House before lunchtime.

Since the disintegration of the power-sharing executive, the DUP has entered into a confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservatives in order to bolster its minority government.

"However they want to describe it the DUP know that agreement requires an Acht Gaeilge".

The Irish government said earlier Monday that the restoration of Northern Ireland's devolved government, in which the DUP and Sinn Fein have shared power, was "essential in the context of full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement".

BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to fly to Belfast today amid growing speculation that a deal to restore the Stormont institutions has been secured.

Mrs May toured the plant floor where the wings of the Canadian manufacturer's C Series jets are built.

She insisted that "it has been thirteen long months since we last saw devolved government here".

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Her visit comes after Sinn Féin gave its clearest signal yet that a deal to restore the Stormont executive could be in place within days. If that embarrasses the British prime minister, then so be it.

The December deal on the first phase of the EU withdrawal talks signalled that the issue could be dealt with in one of three ways: through the overall Brexit deal as Mrs May wants, through some "specific solutions" proposed by the United Kingdom government or by maintaining "full alignment" with single market and customs union rules.

The DUP/Sinn Fein-led coalition imploded last January amid a row over a botched green energy scheme.

Foster's statement was unfortunate given the progress that had been made, Sinn Fein finance spokesman in the Irish Republic, Pearse Doherty, told the Newstalk radio station.

There was speculation over the weekend that three pieces of legislation - an Irish Language Act, an Ulster Scots Act and a broader Culture Act - could be a means to satisfy both sides.

Mr Eastwood said it is not enough to simply form a new executive.

Such hopes proved unfounded, but all parties said an accord was in sight.

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