A breakthrough will not be possible before a 1500 GMT deadline to restore Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said as Britain called for an agreement “as soon as possible”.
Northern Ireland politics has been in crisis since the collapse in January of the compulsory coalition between pro-British unionists and Irish nationalists mandated under a 1998 peace deal that ended three decades of sectarian violence.
Britain’s Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire told a number of issues were outstanding between the two main parties and while he did not explicitly set a fresh time line, the DUP confirmed that an agreement was not imminent.
“There is not going to be a breakthrough which will lead to nominations taking place today,” DUP assembly member Edwin Poots said to reporters, referring to the scheduled nominations of new ministers cancelled shortly after his remarks.
“Talks will continue. We can conclude this within days but that is not in our gift.