Irish, British PMs to meet to talk Brexit, Northen Ireland crisis

Sinn Fein and DUP agree powersharing deal can be done by end of June

Sinn Fein and DUP agree powersharing deal can be done by end of June

Mr Coveney said the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels underlined the urgent need to get devolution back up and running in Belfast.

Simon Coveney has said that the Irish government will "spare no effort" in the process to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

But he said those arguments also needed to be made by a serving first and deputy first minister at Stormont.

Speaking before she entered talks with the new Fine Geal Leader, Foster threw down the gauntlet to Sinn Fein and said her party were "ready to dance" in order to restore a power sharing executive up North.

The UK Government has warned that direct rule from London could be reimposed if the local parties fail to reach an agreement before the June 29 deadline.

"Northern Ireland is perhaps the most vulnerable part of Europe to a bad Brexit deal, should that happen", said Mr Coveney. "I think it will not actually make as dramatic a difference as people think".

The talks take place in the context of the ongoing negotiations between Prime Minister Theresa May and the DUP to strike a parliamentary deal to support her minority Government.

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"We spoke about the very important need for both governments to be impartial actors when it comes to Northern Ireland and that we are co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and that any agreement that may exist between the Conservatives and the DUP should not in any way impact on the Good Friday Agreement", he said.

"The issues causing this impasse are not Sinn Féin issues".

The Sinn Féin National Chairperson also accused the Irish Government under Enda Kenny of a "dereliction of public leadership".

According to a statement, Mr Davis is expected to say that while there is a long road ahead, the destination was clear - "A deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU". "They can't have it both ways, it has to be dealt with sensibly", she said.

"We're having good constructive discussions and I'm confident that we'll reach a sensible agreement", Grayling told BBC radio.

She said: "We continue our discussions with the DUP".

"In the north of Ireland, Sinn Fein is enmeshed in institutional politics and their tie-up with EU funding, while in the south it wants to appeal to working class people campaigning against the austerity and privatisation policies promoted by pro-EU Dublin governments, the European Commission and the European Central Bank", he explained.

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