Northern Ireland news

Theresa May to visit north 'in the next few weeks'

Theresa May's fragile administration depends on the support of the 10 DUP MPs

THERESA May will visit Northern Ireland within the next few weeks, she confirmed today.

During Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, Mrs May said she plans to visit the north soon amid concerns over Brexit and the ongoing impasse at Stormont.

"We are considering a number of issues in relation to Northern Ireland at the moment, in the context of both Brexit and the devolved administration," she said.

"We hope that the administration and the assembly will get back up and running."

She added that she hoped to visit "in the next few weeks".

Mrs May's government has maintained its fragile hold over the Commons due to a 'confidence and supply' agreement with the DUP.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds claimed the prime minister is coming to the north at his party's request.

"The DUP invited the prime minister to visit Northern Ireland once again and I welcome the confirmation today that she will be taking up that invitation in the next few weeks," he said.

He accused republicans of trying to "use Brexit to break up the UK" and of blocking the restoration of the Stormont executive.

"The prime minister has been fully engaged on the issues impacting Northern Ireland, both in terms of our exit from the European Union and the block placed on a restoration of devolution by one party namely Sinn Féin," he said.

He added: "The prime minister’s visit will be a chance to reinforce the message that decisions must be taken in relation to our hospitals, schools and infrastructure. The imposition of red-lines on the return of devolution is impacting upon everyone who lives here."

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