Ireland fears UK election could damage talks to ease N.Ireland impasse

Ireland fears UK election could damage talks to ease N.Ireland impasse

Ireland fears UK election could damage talks to ease N.Ireland impasse

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has said he is concerned the snap United Kingdom general election will hit Stormont powersharing talks.

"While this will legislatively facilitate the formation of an Executive, I am conscious of the political reality that all of the parties involved in the talks will now be competing in a General Election and mind-sets will inevitably shift to campaign mode".

The Prime Minister's call for a fresh election this morning adds another layer to the ongoing talks between major political parties in Northern Ireland, who are trying to form a government in the wake of the RHI scandal and an Assembly election in March, which saw massive gains for Sinn Fein.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to call a snap election on 8 June claiming that divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit negotiations.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the election announcement came as a surprise but that it would be an election "about the union".

Seven weeks on from Northern Ireland's election, and parties are reported to have begun preparations for another ballot.

In the 2015 general election in Northern Ireland, the DUP won eight seats, Sinn Féin won four, the SDLP won three, two went to Ulster Unionists and one independent was elected. The DUP supported the leave campaign, while 56% of voters in Northern Ireland voted for remain. "It can be fixed and that is what Sinn Fein is determined to achieve".

"The forthcoming election will be an opportunity for unionists to unite around a strong Democratic Unionist Party that will advocate for them in Parliament".

Sinn Fein's Mickey Brady is now the MP for Newry and Armagh while DUP's David Simpson represents Upper Bann.

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