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Brexit ‘will see more unionists consider Irish unity’ - O’Neill

Michelle O'Neill speaking on Saturday at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin.

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O'Neill has said she believes more unionists will consider supporting a united Ireland as the economic consequences of Brexit become clear.

Speaking at the Ard Fheis in Dublin on Saturday, the party’s leader at Stormont spoke about a new political era.

“The old certainties are gone. The unionist majority has ended, Europe is in a state of flux and people here know that Brexit will be a disaster for the economy and that is why a cross-community majority of citizens in the north voted against it last June,” she said.

I am confident that as the economic consequences become clearer and hit home, more and more people from a unionist background will be open to at least exploring new scenarios, new relationships on this island, relationships which do not threaten their Britishness.

– Michelle O'Neill

She continued: “Republicanism and unionism must reach a sustainable compromise for sustainable dialogue premised on anti-sectarianism that will move us beyond the impasse of the present and bring us into a brighter future.

“To achieve that we must explore how we can accommodate each other’s aspirations in a manner that does not demand the surrender of cultural or traditional identity.

“We believe that Irish unity on the basis of equality offers the best future for everybody on this island. Therefore it is my responsibility our responsibility to spell out what sort of united Ireland we as republicans seek and to assure them of their place in an Ireland of equals.”

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NI budget set to go before House of Lords

James Brokenshire's budget will go before the House of Lords on Tuesday. Credit: UTV

The secretary of state's budget bill will go before the House of Lords on Tuesday.

There is an extra £50m for health and education, out of the DUP's £1bn deal with the Conservatives.

James Brokenshire has also commissioned an independent review into whether MLAs should still be paid their full salaries.

DUP MEP Dianne Dodds said the situation can't go on indefintely. Credit: UTV

The DUP said it was "regrettable" that there was not an Executive in Northern Ireland to pass the budget.

Dianne Dodds MEP said: “This is a situation that we have said can not go on indefinitely.

“We have now a budget for Northern Ireland but there are decisions piling up on any number of issues.

“On the reorganisation of the health service, on education, on public services, on infrastructure - all of these decisions are waiting.

“We need ministers to take decisions.

“If Sinn Féin won't come to the table, if Sinn Féin won't form an Executive, then it will be up to the Government to provide ministers to actually take those decisions.”

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