Brokenshire gives Easter deadline for formation of new government

He said direct rule may have to be considered if talks fail again

Brokenshire gives Easter deadline for formation of new government

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire| Image: PA images

The British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has set a new deadline of Easter for the formation of a new government.

James Brokenshire says direct rule from London may have to be considered if there's no power-sharing executive after that date.

Speaking at the House of Commons on Tuesday, he said that the failure to set up a new government is a serious concern because Northern Ireland has no budget.

Mr Brokenshire has told MPs the situation cannot be sustained, and that it could mean serious spending cuts in the near future. 

Yesterday James Brokenshire said that there is still a "short window of opportunity" to try and resolve outstanding issues and reach a deal.

He said "I believe that there remains an overwhelming desire among the political parties and the public here for strong and stable devolved government.

"I have spoken to the leaders of each of the main parties this afternoon and there is no appetite for any alternative."

The UK government is now set to outline details of how it intends to foster an agreement to save power-sharing at Stormont.

Brokenshire say that it's vital to pick up the pace of negotiations to make sure power-sharing is restored.