Northern Ireland’s parliament resumes work after two years of deadlock / Article

Northern Ireland’s parliament resumes work after two years of deadlock / Article
Northern Ireland’s parliament resumes work after two years of deadlock / Article
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Saturday 3 February is a significant one in Northern Ireland, as the regional parliament finally begins work two years after the election. The Democratic Unionist Party previously blocked the start of work in an attempt to force London to change the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Unionists are pushing for closer ties between Northern Ireland and Britain and believe the terms of Brexit made trade with the rest of the country unduly difficult.

Regional Parliament resumes work in Northern Ireland

A pledge by London politicians to give three billion pounds to Northern Ireland’s schools, hospitals and other public services if the regional parliament and government reopens has helped change opinion. British Minister for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris expressed satisfaction that it had helped move the process forward.

“This deal will help stabilize Northern Ireland’s public services. We are providing £3 billion of funding to support public services in Northern Ireland, which will give the Executive a proper foundation to deliver better performance in the everyday lives of Northern Ireland’s people,” said Heaton-Harris.

It is also significant that for the first time the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland will not be someone from the Democratic Unionist Party, but Michelle O’Neill, a politician from the “Sinn Fein” party.

This is because this party won the largest number of votes for the first time in history. Unionist politician Emma Little-Pengelly could become her deputy.

Although the responsibilities of the head of government of Northern Ireland and his deputy are very similar, defenders of the idea of ​​a united Ireland from the party “Sinn Fein” see historical significance in this moment. This was also emphasized by party chairperson Mary Lou MacDonald.

“The new Ireland will also have British citizens or subjects, whichever they prefer to call themselves. It has to be part of a big societal change,” MacDonald said. “That’s why it’s very exciting. I feel very optimistic about our future together. I’m not naïve. We’re not naïve. We know there are challenges ahead and that there will be forces that will resist those changes. But we want to see change in Ireland and a new Ireland for all. Furthermore, the historical developments and the current election results show that what we are talking about is possible. I would even say that from a historical point of view, it is within reach. I think that is very exciting.”

Pressure on politicians was also exerted by representatives of various industries who held strikes in Northern Ireland. Without a proper government and parliament, it was not possible to pass a budget that deepened the problems in various sectors.

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The article is in Latvian

Tags: Northern Irelands parliament resumes work years deadlock Article

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