Another U-turn as Tories go back on threat to re-impose direct rule on Northern Ireland

The power-sharing agreement at Stormont collapsed in January [Image: Getty].

This is yet another story of the Conservative minority government being caught between a rock and a hard place.

They are desperate for their deal with the DUP to remain viable but, for this to happen, the power-sharing agreement in Stormont must be restored.

It hasn’t.

So, rather than let the deal fall – putting their minority government in Westminster in danger – James Brokenshire has admitted that his party (and government) is weak and his bluff has been called, and he has extended the deadline.


James Brokenshire, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has once again extended the deadline for the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin to reach a deal to restore power-sharing.

Mr Brokenshire had previously threatened to impose a partial form of direct rule for Northern Ireland by legislating for a budget for the region if the parties failed to come to agreement.

But on Monday evening the DUP and Sinn Féin left Stormont without agreeing a deal and the Northern Ireland Secretary said he was going to defer his decision on a budget.

Source: Northern Ireland power sharing deadline extended in the hope DUP and Sinn Fein can make a deal

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3 thoughts on “Another U-turn as Tories go back on threat to re-impose direct rule on Northern Ireland

  1. cmgregson

    Off-topic but thought you’d like this: an easy-read list of all divisions in Westminster and the Scottish Parliament

    I found it while wondering if this bad joke of a Government had actually done anything constructive since the summer holiday. The evidence is pretty conclusive: the answer is No, with Labour’s humble address to force publication of the 58 Brexit Impact Assessments the most meaningful motion passed in the last two months. On the Government side all we have in the House of Commons are some Budget Resolutions, the Committees stitch-up, various Finance Bill clauses, the early stages of the EU Withdrawal Bill, one programme motion on electric vehicles legislation and another on smart meters. The Labour win on Universal Credit sits snugly in the middle, with today’s motions soon to join them.

    We have a Parliament, politicians and debates; what we lack is any sign of a functioning Government. Time to give someone else a turn Mrs May…

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