On Monday, Theresa May, the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, arrived at Stormont, and was welcomed by Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland Secretary. In the meeting with the political leaders, May urged them to make “one final push” and she also said it is possible to restore the executive “very soon”.
The executive was crumbled in January 2017 following controversy over the handling of a green energy scheme by Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). According to Foster, a “good progress has been made” during the meeting.
“Good progress has been made and we will continue to work towards more progress,” said Foster, who believed that the deal was “good for everyone” and that was “sustainable” in the future.
Although there are still some “differences” between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein at Stormont, Theresa May claimed that: “I think there is a basis of an agreement here”. “I believe it should be possible to see an executive up and running very soon,” she added.
“It’s been 13 long months since we last saw devolved government here, and I think we are now at the point where it’s time for the local elected representatives to find a way to work together and to deal with, to tackle, the many pressing issues facing Northern Ireland,” May continued.
The Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said that “we are close to an agreement”, but said the two parties “are not exactly there just yet”. “There is nothing insurmountable if there is the political will to reach an agreement,” she added.