N Ireland: Sinn Féin says next days ‘crucial’ for return of NI power-sharing


Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill has spoken of a “day of optimism” after rival party the DUP agreed a deal to return to power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

“All the conditions are now in place” for the return of the Northern Ireland Assembly and executive, the UK’s secretary of state for Northern Ireland says.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson announced at 01:00 GMT that his party had backed a deal with Westminster on post-Brexit trade agreements.

NI Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris says he hopes to finalise the deal “as soon as possible” – with details to be published tomorrow.

The breakthrough came after a dramatic, hours-long meeting of the DUP’s executive that was plagued by security issues, with a protest taking place outside.

The DUP started boycotting NI’s devolved power-sharing government nearly two years ago in protest against trade arrangements after the UK left the EU.__bbc.com