Coveney says power-sharing deal is 'doable' by the deadline

The deadline for an agreement at Stormont is next Thursday

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney says the deadline to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland is 'doable'.

However, speaking today at Stormont he said he's not taking that for granted.

Talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein are due to continue tomorrow, while Minister Coveney is expected to return to Belfast on Sunday.

If the parties in Northern Ireland miss the deadline for an agreement at Stormont, they face the prospect of direct rule being reimposed from Westminster.

Invisible border 

Speaking about today's meetings, Simon Coveney said it was "a good day" for discussions and that by Monday afternoon there would be a need to get all five parties involved in discussions.

He said he was encouraged by today's "straight talking from all parties" in Stormont, before adding "I think we are down to business now which is where we need to be."

He finished by saying "We have a relatively small number of working days left to be able to get this done by the deadline. I think it's doable, but I wouldn't be taking anything for granted."

Yesterday, Mr Coveney said an all-island approach to Brexit would help bring about "special status" for the North and an "invisible" border with the Republic.
 
He said "What we are insisting on achieving is a special status for Northern Ireland that allows the interaction on this island as is currently the case to be maintained as close to the current norm as possible."