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British government 'fully committed' to Good Friday Agreement

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking outside Stormont House in Belfast last week. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association
Michael McHugh, Press Association

The British government has said it is "fully committed" to the Good Friday Agreement.

It is working towards getting the devolved administration at Stormont up and running again, Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman confirmed.

Former Secretary of State Owen Paterson recently retweeted a commentator's suggestion that the 1998 accord which largely ended decades of violence had outlived its use.

Secretary of State Karen Bradley is due to update Parliament on the Stormont impasse tomorrow.

The British prime minister's official spokesman said: "The government remains fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement and we continue to work towards getting the devolved administration up and running again.

"It is disappointing that agreement has not yet been reached between the parties, but we do still believe that the basis for an accommodation exists."

The Easter agreement was signed almost 20 years ago between the British and Dublin governments and enjoyed support from most of the major parties in Northern Ireland. The DUP opposed it.

It enabled the formation of a ministerial Executive and Assembly at Stormont.

The Dublin government has repeatedly stressed the need to protect the Agreement.

Mr Paterson was secretary of state from 2010.

He also tweeted that Northern Ireland deserved good government, and health services were falling behind the rest of Britain without a devolved Executive.

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