World

Northern Ireland parties strike deal with Britain to sustain Catholic-Protestant government

Britain has announced a long-sought agreement with Northern Ireland's parties to sustain the Catholic-Protestant government in the British territory.

Tuesday's 67-page agreement titled "A Fresh Start" took more than a year of negotiations to achieve. Rival parties say the agreement fails to resolve many arguments but has created enough common ground to keep the coalition running.

The 8-year-old coalition has threatened to unravel since 2014 when the major Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, blocked efforts to impose British welfare reforms on Northern Ireland that had already been enacted in Britain.

Tensions rose further in August when the Irish Republican Army — supposed to have renounced violence as a condition for Sinn Fein's involvement in government — was accused of killing a former member in a revenge attack.