London Delays Northern Ireland Elections

The British government indicated on Thursday that it would allow time before calling an election in Northern Ireland in the face of political deadlock over post-Brexit arrangements in the British province, despite a deadline expiring on Thursday evening.

Northern Irish Institutions

Northern Irish institutions have been at a standstill for almost a year, due to the boycott of the unionists of the DUP, who denounce in the post-Brexit controls on goods from Great Britain a threat to the place of the province within the UK.

The persistence of the blockage beyond Thursday evening at midnight should in principle lead to new elections, after an extension has already been implemented by London.

“If no executive is formed today, I will be under a legal obligation to hold an election (…) in the next 12 weeks,” tweeted the British Minister in charge of Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton- Harris.

He added that he would use “the coming weeks to carefully consider all options” and “will continue to discuss with all interested parties before any decision is made”.

The unionists of the DUP condition their participation in local institutions – where powers must be shared between the DUP and the nationalist party Sinn Fein, which came out on top in the last elections – to a profound modification of the Northern Irish protocol, which introduces post checks -Brexit.

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