Secretary of State confirms new round of Stormont talks

Secretary of State James Brokenshire has confirmed a new round of talks to try and save power-sharing at Stormont will commence next week.

Mr Brokenshire was in Dublin meeting with the Irish and British Chamber of Commerce to discuss Brexit proposals, and later met with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

He warned the situation at Stormont is rapidly approaching a "critical point" where the government will have to step in.

“I want to see talks resuming between the parties to re-establish and Executive in Northern Ireland. At this time of the Brexit negotiations, at this time where issues continue to be highlighted around public services in Northern Ireland, I think it just underlines the need for an Executive to be put in place,” he said.

“It is about getting back into the dialogue, and seeing that we are able to get a positive outcome. I believe that can still be achieved.”

If things don’t change I will need to consider those issues over a lack of a budget in Northern Ireland, what that actually means in terms of certainty for public services.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire

Later the Northern Ireland Office released a statement from the Secretary of State confirming the negotiations would recommence next week.

The Secretary of State said: “My priority is to see the restoration of the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland, working on a sustainable basis to deliver good government for everyone.

“Over the summer I have kept in touch with the political parties and I will be bringing them together over the next week as we enter a new phase of talks.

“We must ensure that politicians locally are working together to strengthen the economy, to deal with the challenges and opportunities of EU Exit, and build a stronger, shared society based on respect for everyone. Ultimately, it is for Northern Ireland's political parties to find a way to make this work”.