LONDON – Last-minute talks between Northern Ireland's main political parties on Thursday failed to produce a compromise on restoring their power-sharing administration but Britain is giving the rivals more time to talk before deciding whether to restore direct rule.
A 4 p.m. deadline imposed by the British government passed without an agreement on how to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing government.
Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire had said earlier the goal remains achievable. No decision is expected until Monday at the earliest, with talks likely to continue in the meantime.
Brokenshire said a number of issues remained but a resolution could be found.
Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party have blamed each other for the impasse that threatens the future of the unity government for Northern Ireland that was a key achievement of the 1998 Good Friday accords.
The DUP, a largely Protestant, socially conservative party, this week signed a deal to support the Conservative government of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Sinn Fein leaders complained bitterly that the DUP's new role means the British government is no longer impartial as required by the Good Friday accord.