LONDON – Northern Ireland's two main parties are facing a looming deadline to hammer out a new power-sharing agreement or move a step closer to direct rule from London.
Representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein resume talks with the knowledge that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire has said the central government will be forced to approve a budget for the province if no deal is reached Monday.
The DUP, an ally of Prime Minister Theresa May's government, warns it won't accept a "bad agreement cobbled together to suddenly suit the timetables of others." Sinn Fein says any deal must benefit "all in our society."
Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing government since January, with Sinn Fein demands for Irish language protections seen as the main sticking point.