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Little sign of an Executive decision to end the stalemate

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One hundred days since the Assembly election and there are no signs that the Stormont stalemate is about to end imminently.

While Sinn Fein, Alliance, the UUP and SDLP are keen to see the return of fully functioning institutions, the DUP won’t be agreeing to that any time soon.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told MPs last month that he will accept the position of Deputy First Minister if the Protocol Bill becomes law.

The legislation has cleared the House of Commons but peers are expected to contest parts of it after the summer recess with a potential showdown between the two Houses.

Under new rules passed by Westminster in February, our parties have until October 28 to form a new Executive or another Assembly election must be called.

But the Government is likely to amend those rules rather than ask voters to go to the polls in January.

The new Prime Minister is expected to put pressure on the DUP to nominate an Assembly Speaker in September.

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Some Westminster sources suggest Sir Jeffrey is not opposed to doing so, but currently has little room to manoeuvre with more hardline colleagues.

Asked about the political paralysis 100 days after the Assembly election, he told the Belfast Telegraph: “We operate power-sharing in Northern Ireland, not majority rule.

“Not one unionist MLA supports the protocol. Progress is only made in Northern Ireland through cross-community........

© Belfast Telegraph

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