'Good progress' made in Stormont talks

Sinn Fein’s Northern Ireland leader Michelle O’Neill said she does not believe the negotiations had long to

But I would also like to recognise the contribution of other parties here in Northern Ireland, too.

Downing Street said Mrs May will tell the parties that her Government is ready to introduce legislation to enable the re-establishment of a devolved Executive as soon as possible, if an agreement is struck.

"I've had full and frank conversations with the five parties and I've also met with the Taoiseach".

The Taoiseach and British Prime Minister are holding crunch talks at Stormont amid growing speculation that a deal to restore powersharing is edging closer.

Update 2.31pm: It is unlikely a power-sharing deal for Northern Ireland will be decided today.

"We want the Executive and Assembly up and running".

Mrs Foster said: "The tone was very good".

DUP leader Arlene Foster noted that there was "very good progress", but that "there isn't a deal yet".

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The Irish government should "work to ensure the economy, north and south, is protected through the north remaining in the single market and customs union", Martina Anderson, a Sinn Fein member of the European Parliament, said on Monday.

"Clearly, we need to meet [the DUP]", McDonald said. Sinn Fein's insistence on a stand alone Irish Language Act means that we have reached an impasse.

The party leader added: "If the public are frustrated at the pace of progress, we all are as well".

In a statement the DUP says that serious and significant gaps remain between the party and Sinn Fein and it will not agree to a free standing Irish language act.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which holds the key to forming a government and is an ally of May's government in London, refused to meet with Varadkar because he is the leader of another party.

Leo Varadkar, a man of undoubted charm, she called "smarmy" after it was reported that he thought her "cranky", an uncharitable view of her passionate patriotism.

"We don't believe there is anything now insurmountable left to resolve".

"This is a time for leadership and calm heads and there is a responsibility on all involved not to react to some of the noise from people who simply don't want an agreement".

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