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After months of political deadlock in Northern Ireland, the situation has reached a crisis point on Thursday. The latest efforts to form an Assembly at Stormont have failed. Significant decisions on public services, including NHS waiting lists, are being kept on hold. Today, most of the 90 members were back in their debating chamber, but what happened only seemed to signal that a snap election is inevitable.
Sinn Fein got the most votes in last May’s election, but they can only get the Executive officially up and running with The Democratic Unionist Party’s involvement.
DUP has refused to elect a Speaker because it believes Northern Ireland’s place in the UK has been undermined by the post-Brexit deal signed by former PM Boris Johnson. DUP wants the UK government to renegotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed with the EU and insists it will nominate ministers to the Assembly when that happens, despite the UK government setting a Thursday midnight deadline.
Business leaders say the political instability is damaging investments and job creation.
The Brexit agreement, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out the trading arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. At the moment, all goods being transported to Northern Ireland are subject to checks.
The key demand from the UK side is they want a loosening of checks on goods traveling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. They also want changes for tax arrangements and government support for businesses in Northern Ireland to be more in line with those in Great Britain.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverley spoke on Thursday to his EU counterparts. “The EU’s commitment to finding joint solutions remains unwavering. It’s the only way to ensure certainty and predictability in Northern Ireland,” said Maroš Šefcovic.
“The priority must be upholding the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and protecting political stability in Northern Ireland,” assured Cleverly.
The talks are ongoing, but if they fail, the UK Parliament will pass a law that will allow ministers to override key parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. President Joe Biden spoke openly against that happening. The EU believes this is illegal and has hinted they could introduce trade retaliation in response.
Rishi Sunak, in his first phone call with Biden said that he would be looking for a negotiated agreement.
On Tuesday evening, about 120 Conservative MPs flocked into No 10 to watch the England v Wales game. Inside, the flags of England and Wales were displayed on either side of the giant TV. Snacks and drinks were served. MPs stood and joined in singing the national anthem before the game. MPs representing English and…Keep reading
Incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, elected by acclamation, held his first press conference on Wednesday. He opened by calling Pelosi the “extraordinary speaker for the ages.” Jeffries, born in Brooklyn in a middle-class and working-class family is the first Black man to lead a major party in either chamber of Congress. He said that one…Keep reading
EST 9:00 AM President Biden receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 11:05 AM President Biden departs the White House en route the White House Tribal Nations Summit11:30 AM President Biden delivers remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Summit12:15 PM President Biden departs the White House Tribal Nations Summit en route the White House 12:20 PM President Biden arrives at the White House 5:30 PM The First…Keep reading
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On Tuesday, Congressional leaders of both parties spoke to reporters outside the West Wing following their meeting with President Biden. Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi were the first ones to address the press . “All four of us agreed we’ve got to resolve this rail shutdown as quickly as possible,” Schumer said. “I don’t like…Keep reading
It’s that time of year again. On Monday, I walked through the White House gates for the First Lady’s Christmas decoration reveal. An annual White House press tradition, filled with history, holiday songs, and thousands of sparkling lights. The grand entrance at the East Wing Lobby opened with “We the People” holiday experience with bells…Keep reading
EST 11:55 AM President Biden departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews 12:25 PM President Biden departs Joint Base Andrews en route Freeland, Michigan 2:05 PM President Biden arrives in Freeland, Michigan 2:35 PM President Biden tours the SK SiltronCSS facility …Keep reading
In April of 1926, world representatives met in Paris and wrote the 1926 Paris International Convention Relative To Motor Traffic. Following the end of WWII, as many more people worldwide started to travel internationally, it became clear that the terms of the 1926 Paris convention needed to be updated. In 1949, delegates met in Geneva and…Keep reading
EST 10:30 AM President Biden receives the Presidential Daily Briefing 1:30 PM President Biden hosts a congratulatory visit with 2022 Nobel Prize Winners from the United States Briefing Schedule 2:30 PM Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John KirbyKeep reading