H British government presented to Parliament a bill to reduce the compensation of Northern Irish MPs after months of paralysis of the local assembly due to the disagreements that have arisen since Brexit.
The bill, which also extends the deadline for parties in Belfast to agree and form a local government, sees MPs’ income cut by more than 25% while the assembly remains in limbo.
“I urge the Northern Irish parties to use this deadline to come together in the interests of all citizens in Northern Ireland.”said the British minister responsible for the province, Chris Heaton-Harris.
“Currently (MPs) are unable to fulfill their full responsibilities, so it is only natural that we act to reduce their salaries”he added.
The British province of Northern Ireland has been mired in political deadlock for months amid disputes over its post-Brexit status. At the heart of the disputes is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated at the time of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
The political deadlock is due to the fact that the small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which opposes the provisions of the protocol, refuses to participate in the local assembly until the protocol is changed in a big way, preventing the formation of a government that must be shared with its republicans Sinn Fein, winners of the May election.
The parties had until October 28 to agree but after failing to reach a compromise, the British government agreed to extend the deadline before calling new elections. Under the bill, the deadline will now be December 8, with an option to extend it to January 19.
Unionists, committed to Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, are calling for the protocol to be scrapped as it establishes a special customs regime for the province to avoid re-establishing a physical border with the neighboring Republic of Ireland. According to Unionists, the text undermines the integrity of the United Kingdom because it creates a de facto customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the country.
Source: News Beast
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