Northern Ireland has been promised a massive cash injection from London if tomorrow’s deadline for power-sharing is met.But with time running out, there is no prospect of any accord being reached.
The pro-British Unionists of Ian Paisley have agreed to go into government with pro-Irish Sinn Fein but not until May. This is even though Gerry Adams’ party opposes any delay.
Meanwhile, Irish leader Bertie Ahern has reiterated that the Monday deadline still stands.
“Obviously, our position holds that if there is no agreement, and devolution cannot start tomorrow because of the DUP’s difficulties, which we understand, then everything collapses,” said Ahern.
“We don’t want that to happen. We would like if there is direct engagement, if we can get progress with the parties.”
London, too, says Northern Ireland’s assembly will be dissolved unless a deal is reached in time. But it has indicated that if the two sides can agree on another date for power-sharing, it might offer a way out of the deadlock.