Deal to revive Stormont powersharing 'imminent', but two parties may not sign up

A deal to save the powersharing Executive in Northern Ireland is likely to be announced imminently.

Deal to revive Stormont powersharing 'imminent', but two parties may not sign up

A deal to save the powersharing Executive in Northern Ireland is likely to be announced imminently.

The coalition’s two main parties – the Democratic Unionists (DUP) and Sinn Féin - as well as the Irish and British Governments, are expected to make statements on the proposed settlement later this afternoon.

A meeting of the Stormont Executive and a separate round table meeting involving all the main parties and the two governments have been scheduled to brief political leaders on the details ahead of the planned announcements.

It is understood the deal has found a way to resolve an acute budgetary crisis caused by a long-running failure to implement welfare reforms in the North.

A motion to give Westminster the power to rule on the devolved matter is expected to be debated in the Assembly on Wednesday.

However, it does not incorporate a solution to a vexed wrangle over the legacy of Northern Ireland’s troubled past with intensive negotiations failing to resolve the impasse over the prospect of some official documents not being disclosed, on national security grounds, to proposed truth-recovery bodies.

The fallout from the IRA-linked killing of former IRA man Kevin McGuigan in August had been on the agenda during the ten-week talks process and a new three-person panel is likely to be set up to examine the ongoing scourge of paramilitarism.

It is thought the independent panel will report back next May.

While only DUP and Sinn Féin sign-off is required among the local parties to implement any deal, they both would ideally like the endorsement of Stormont’s three other main parties – the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and Alliance Party - to add greater legitimacy.

The UUP is viewed as the least likely of the three to sign up.

The SDLP has insisted it will not sign up to a bad deal.

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