N Ireland faces second vote in six months as DUP boycott persists | Politics News

The largest pro-British party refused to support the election of a council speaker, ensuring that the deadline for forming a power-sharing government would be missed.

Northern Ireland is facing the prospect of a second election in six months after the region’s largest pro-British party refused to boycott the power-sharing government, citing concerns about post-Brexit trade rules.

An election that is likely to prolong the political deadlock has frozen parts of regional government and will cause deep political divisions over trade rules as Britain and the Union Europe tries to find a compromise.

At an emergency session of the Northern Ireland Parliament, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Thursday said it would not postpone the speaker election, ensuring that a six-month deadline to form a government follows the election. Elections in May will be skipped.

Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement, which largely ended 30 years of sectarian bloodshed in the region, independence nationalists and collectivists wanted Continuing to be part of the UK is required to agree on a speaker before voting for a cross community. government.

“We do not believe that there has been enough progress to address the issues that concern the people we represent,” DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson told journalists.

‘Won’t change anything’

Chris Heaton-Harris, the UK government’s minister for Northern Ireland, has repeatedly said that failure to form a government by the end of Thursday would make him legally obligated to call a new election despite despite the fact that the region’s main parties have said a vote would do little to break the deadlock.

Donaldson said: “There is no doubt that holding an election at this time will not change anything about the problems and challenges we face in Northern Ireland.

Heaton-Harris will have 12 weeks to hold an election, but media in Northern Ireland have reported local officials are preparing for a vote that could happen in mid-December.

The DUP, which withdrew from power-sharing in February, said it would not join a power-sharing government until its concerns about post-Brexit trade deals for the region as outlined in The Northern Ireland Protocol is resolved.

Talks on the matter between the European Union and the UK government over the protocol, part of Britain’s EU divorce treaty, have stalled due to political turmoil in London.

Protect the single market

Brussels, saying that examining trade between the UK and Northern Ireland is necessary to protect its only market amid Brexit is the land border with EU member the Republic of Ireland, has shown openness. in easing some checks.

But the DUP insists there aren’t any restrictions on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which the EU has said it will not accept.

Some Irish nationalist politicians have accused the DUP of using concerns about this protocol as a cover to avoid serving under first minister Sinn Fein after the nationalist party in May 5 won the most seats for the first time in the region’s 100-year history.

Opinion polls have shown that a new election is unlikely to significantly alter the outcome of Mrs May’s election.

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