Sinn Fein 'glorification of terrorism' an obstacle to deal, says Arlene Foster

Gerry Adams

Leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, issued a statement on Monday night just days after Ireland's taoiseach said the country would block progress in the EU-UK talks if Westminster did not come up with proposals to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland.

The DUP leader, whose party's confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservatives is keeping Mrs May in power at Westminster, will discuss Brexit and the ongoing powersharing crisis at Stormont during talks in London.

The return of direct rule to Northern Ireland came a step closer last week as laws were passed imposing a budget.

The head of the Democratic Unionist Party said on Monday Northern Ireland would leave the European Union on the same terms as the rest of the United Kingdom, rebuffing a suggestion from the bloc that the region remain subject to some of its rules.

Mrs Foster accused some in Dublin and Brussels of trying to recklessly use Northern Ireland for their own objectives.

"We will not countenance a border in the Irish Sea".

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In a strongly-worded statement ahead of talks in London, Ms Foster said it was "downright careless" to suggest leaving the European Union would cause a return to violence not seen since the Troubles.

The Sinn Féin leadership will meet the prime minister at Downing Street later.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, who was also at the talks today, tabled the legislation after warning civil servants needed clarity to keep public services ticking over while the politicians squabble. We want to see a sensible arrangement that can work for all concerned.

The DUP have warned that the "glorification of terrorism" by Sinn Fein was making it more hard to restore power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

Devolution has been on ice in Northern Ireland since a breakdown in powersharing in January despite snap elections and months of negotiations between DUP chief Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Nandy.

"I want to see local ministers making decisions about Northern Ireland but we can not continue without a ministerial-led government", she said.

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