Secretary of State says that talks to restore Stormont have now concluded

The Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has said that discussions to restore Stormont have now ended, and it is time for the DUP to make a decision.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris has today said that talks that were ongoing with the Democratic Unionist Party to restore Stormont have now ended.

The UK government has made their final offer – a financial package worth £3.3 billion. The NI Secretary said, “it is now time for decisions to be made. This package is on the table for however long decision-making takes”.

In contrast, however, the leader of the DUP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has said that “there has not yet been an agreement on issues of concern around Northern Ireland trade with the rest of the United Kingdom”.

“In relation to the Windsor Framework, the Northern Ireland Protocol and the discussions we’ve been having with the UK Government, we are very clear, there is not yet agreement finalised on the issues of substance and we will continue to engage with the Government to get to the point where that agreement is reached.

“We are not for giving up, we want to get this right, it is important for the future of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom that we secure the change that is required to restore our place within the United Kingdom and its internal market.”

“We will study the other aspects of the offer that has been presented by the Secretary of State, we will consider that.

“It remains our view that there is not yet a basis within that financial offer to deliver the financial stability that Northern Ireland needs in the years ahead.”

– Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP leader

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