Statement on Northern Ireland political situation

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister and Taoiseach spoke yesterday afternoon about the situation in Northern Ireland. They agreed that the current situation in Northern Ireland is serious and without urgent progress there is a real threat to the stability of the devolved institutions.

The Prime Minister has also had separate discussions with the First and Deputy First Ministers. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has held a series of meetings and conversations with all the main parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish government.

As a result of these discussions the government has concluded that there is a clear need to convene urgent, intensive and focused cross-party talks, involving the parties engaged in the negotiations that led to the Stormont House Agreement. The purpose of the talks is to secure full implementation of the Agreement and to deal with issues arising from the impact of continued paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.

The talks will be led for the UK government by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and will commence next week at Stormont House. They will be conducted in full accordance with the long- established 3-stranded approach to Northern Ireland affairs with the Irish government also involved on matters for which they have responsibility.

It is vital for the sustainability of the devolved institutions that all parties seize the opportunity for urgent talks to address these issues.

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