Will parties in Northern Ireland return to Stormont now a new protocol deal has been made?
Following the announcement of a deal between the UK and EU over the protocol, all eyes are now focused on whether the power-sharing institutions in Northern Ireland will be restored.
There hasn't been an executive at Stormont for over a year due to the DUP's withdrawal of its first minister in 2022 - a result of the party's concerns over the post-Brexit trade agreement.
On Monday, Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill called for the DUP to "join the rest of the parties" by returning to the executive.
Meanwhile Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, said his party would "take time to study" the contents of the new protocol deal announced by the UK and EU.
In recent months the DUP has reiterated that any new deal would need to meet its seven tests - including the removal of the Irish Sea trade border and ending the imposition of EU law from Northern Ireland.The new Windsor Framework was announced by Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Monday, with the Prime Minister claiming that the agreement "removes any sense of a border in the Irish Sea".
Mr Sunak set out a wide array of planned changes and reforms, covering trade, VAT regulation and the role of Stormont in EU laws that apply to Northern Ireland - referred to as the 'Stormont Brake'.Speaking to UTV's View From Stormont, Alliance MLA Sorcha Eastwood said her party was giving "a broad welcome" to the agreement.
"We were clear that we wanted to protect our access to the single market and have both market access, what was also important for us was that we saw a reduction in paperwork, that's something we've called for from day one," she explained.
"I think we have to be clear tonight in also saying that we do have some concerns about this concept of the Stormont Brake. Obviously we're trying to take in the text as we speak, but we don't want a situation where we're baking in perpetual brakes, literally, to stability and certainty in this place."
Meanwhile SDLP MP Claire Hanna said the deal was "real progress in hopefully ending the last year of stalemate".
"It's a good thawing and progressing of UK-EU relationships," she added.
"It's a deal, from what we can see so far, which respects, in large part, Stormont. It creates incentives to keep the institutions up.
"We do have concerns about the Stormont Brake. Stormont has had quite a lot of breaks recently and I think people are quite sick of the politics of veto and we have to be very clear that we're offering certainty as part of our dual-market access."
TUV leader Jim Allister told UTV: "There certainty remains the constitutional front of being governed by foreign laws, being in a foreign-single market and therefore subject to those foreign laws, overseen by a foreign court".
"That constitutional front has not been removed and likewise nor has the fact that under the protocol we remain under the ambit of the foreign customs code of the EU.
"I will not be celebrating prematurely about any of this," added Mr Allister.
Sinn Féin's deputy leader Michelle O'Neill spoke to reporters at Stormont following the announcement of the deal.
She said "most people's minds will quickly turn to the fact that we need to be in this institutions, we need to be working together, we need to be tackling things like the health service, creating jobs, growing our economy and taking the full advantage that the protocol affords us.
"I welcome the fact a deal has been done, we've always said it was possible to have a deal.
"I was always very clear that the protections that were secured in the protocol were necessary, they remain necessary the fundamental priorities for us were the protection f the Good Friday Agreement, the all-island economy, protecting those things that were working and then smoothing out the things that need to be fixed.
"I genuinely believe that all parties are best served sitting around the executive table so I encourage everyone to do that, and I encourage the DUP to join with the rest of the parties and actually make politics work here."
Meanwhile DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told UTV: "We've only just received the legal text for this agreement, the political declaration that goes with it and the government has published their command paper which sets out their response to the agreement.
"We will take our time to study all of this," he added.
"It is vitally important that we fully understand what has been agreed and what the implications of all of that are for Northern Ireland in terms of our ability to trade within the UK and its internal market and the impact it has on businesses and consumers back home."
Sir Jeffrey explained that there was "no doubt progress has been made in some areas" but that remain "concerns in other areas and sectors".
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