"Consensus can be found", statement on Northern Ireland talks

04 June 2019

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, updated the House of Commons on the political process in Northern Ireland.

Talks continued on Monday 3 June in Stormont, where Northern Ireland's political parties are trying to reach a deal to restore the country's devolved executive.

Northern Ireland has been without an elected Assembly since January 2017, with a continued split between Sinn Fein and the DUP preventing the formation of an Executive branch.

The Secretary of State told MPs that talks would continue and expressed gratitude to the parties for engaging constructively with the process. She said;

"The process has made good progress thus far, and there is now a genuine but narrow window to reach agreement [...] it is clear that there are a number of areas in which a consensus can be found across a range of issues, but there remain real and substantial areas of disagreement"

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Shadow Northern Ireland Minister Tony Lloyd said;

"Tensions are rising as we speak and those tensions must be dealt with, and constitutional means of challenging those who would do us harm is the right and proper way to proceed. "

He echoed the Northern Ireland Secretary's optimism that a deal was within reach, but that the window of possibility is narrow and failure to reach an agreement would have serious repercussions for Northern Ireland. 

Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.

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