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Clinton optimistic Northern Ireland govt will be revived

Former US President Bill Clinton is hopeful that the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will end their boycott of the Northern Ireland government soon. The party has kept the government suspended for over a year in protest at trade rules introduced post-Brexit that resulted in a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Clinton met with DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson on Monday and stated that he left the meeting “more optimistic” than when he entered it. The Good Friday Agreement, established 25 years ago, helped bring an end to decades of sectarian violence by creating a Northern Ireland government with power shared between British unionist and Irish nationalist parties. The Windsor Framework, agreed between the UK and the EU in February, has gone a long way to resolving the political impasse, Clinton added. Chris Heaton-Harris, the UK Northern Ireland Secretary, also urged the DUP to return to government, stating that those who value Northern Ireland’s place in the UK should “put the union first, restore the devolved institutions and get on with the job of delivering for the people of Northern Ireland.” The DUP’s withdrawal from government is a major concern given the rising violence in Northern Ireland and the need for effective leadership to maintain the peace.

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