Home Britain PM hails ‘wonderful compromise’ as Northern Ireland devolution restored

PM hails ‘wonderful compromise’ as Northern Ireland devolution restored

41
0

Boris Johnson has hailed the "wonderful compromise" that has seen the return of devolution to Northern Ireland, after meeting Stormont's newly-appointed leaders in Belfast.

The prime minister said Stormont was "open for business again" in the wake of the restoration of power-sharing following three years of political deadlock.

Mr Johnson praised politicians from all sides in Northern Ireland, saying they had "put aside their differences, stepped up to the plate and showed leadership".

Devolution formally restored as power-sharing resumes at Stormont

"I just want to say how grateful I am to all the parties, to everybody here in Northern Ireland, for the way they have compromised the way they have worked together to get Stormont up and running once again," he said.

"It's shown a willingness to trust each other and to set aside differences and I think it's absolutely commendable and wonderful to see."

Advertisement

Mr Johnson added: "Never mind the hand of history on my shoulder… I see the hand of the future beckoning us all forward.

"And I hope that with goodwill and compromise and hard work on all sides it will be a very bright future indeed."

More from Boris Johnson

The prime minister was greeted by DUP First Minister Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill outside Stormont Castle in Belfast as he arrived for the talks earlier.

As they posed for pictures Mr Johnson shook hands with Ms O'Neill, while Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith shook hands with Ms Foster.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar was also due at Stormont, as he and Mr Johnson mark the return of devolution.

The British government made a number of financial promises to get the "New Decade, New Approach" agreement over the line.

preview image
DUP: This is a fair and balanced deal

Mr Smith promised major investment to tackle problems in Northern Ireland's struggling public services, but declined to confirm the sums involved until devolution was restored.

Ministers at Stormont are now keen to nail down precise figures.

There are reports the government could announce a £2bn package, but a Downing Street source has described this figure as "just speculation".

And Mr Johnson himself did not answer when asked by journalists about the £2bn figure.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald (centre), and deputy leader Michelle O'Neill (R)
Sinn Fein backs NI power-sharing deal

Additionally, the Irish government made financial pledges within the agreement to honour commRead More – Source