In Summary
  • Northern Ireland has been without an executive for more than 10 months.
  • Opposition political parties in Westminster supported the budget bill but voiced concerns.
  • Simon Coveney, Ireland's foreign minister, said he was "deeply disappointed" months of negotiations had not yielded a deal.

LONDON

Lawmakers in Britain voted to impose a budget on Northern Ireland, in a move seen as a step towards taking direct rule of the semi-autonomous province, which has been deadlocked for months by a dispute between nationalists and unionists.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire introduced the budget with "the utmost reluctance" and said there was "no other choice" after the failure of months of efforts to bring the two sides in Belfast's power-sharing assembly together.

"My strong preference would be for a restored executive in Northern Ireland to take forward its own budget," he told MPs during a debate.

EXECUTIVE

Northern Ireland has been without an executive for more than 10 months.

Its two largest parties — the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), currently in a coalition with his ruling Conservative Party, and the nationalists Sinn Fein — have failed to agree on a power-sharing executive, wrangling over several issues including an Irish language law.

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