[lg policy] Northern Ireland political parties resume talks to form government

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed May 8 11:53:49 EDT 2019

Northern Ireland political parties resume talks to form government

   - In Daily Brief <https://www.foreignbrief.com/category/daily-news/>
   - May 7, 2019
   - Kai Loyens <https://www.foreignbrief.com/author/kai-loyens/>

[image: Wo27 NI talks]

Photo: Reuters

Coalition talks between Northern Ireland’s political parties are set to
resume today as London seeks to break an 800-day impasse
has left the region without a functioning government.

The previous government, a power-sharing coalition between the pro-UK
Democratic Unionist Party and pro-Ireland Séin Fein, collapsed due to
divisions over language policy and a botched green energy scheme for

Growing uncertainty over Brexit has exacerbated the situation. Both parties
are expected to clash over the DUP’s critical role in Theresa May’s
coalition government, particularly whether Westminster can be an
independent mediator if talks remain protracted.

Last month, DUP leader Arlene Foster repeated an offer to pursue a
two-track approach: reopening a devolved government to provide essential
services, whilst holding separate talks on more controversial issues such
as language and same-sex marriage. UK local elections
the past week saw have been a catalyst for talks, leading to a slight rise
in support for the DUP but steady support for Séin Fein.

Therefore, both sides are expected to agree to resume essential services
and form government, as the impasse continues to impact health, education
and law enforcement services. However, talks on areas of disagreement do
pose a risk to political stability over the medium-term.

*Delve deeper: *Trouble in Ireland: Northern Ireland’s Political Deadlock
 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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