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Dublin: 20 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020
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No deal: Enda and Cameron leave talks after 'amateurish ham-fisted episode'

No deal and no immediate prospect of a deal in the North on flags, parades and the past.

Outta here: David Cameron and Enda Kenny leaving talks at Stormont House this morning
Outta here: David Cameron and Enda Kenny leaving talks at Stormont House this morning
Image: Niall Carson

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have left political talks saying that no deal is possible right now on the issues of flags, parades and the past.

Cameron left talks having said he had offered a package of up to £1 billion to the Northern Ireland Executive over the next five to six years if the parties to the talks had been prepared to strike a deal on disputed issues.

Kenny said that while governments in Dublin and London would be available to to the parties he believed that Northern Ireland politicians would be able to conclude outstanding issues.

Northern Ireland Talks Source: Niall Carson

“Things are better today than they were yesterday,” Cameron said as he left the talks with Kenny shortly after 9am.

It’s widely thought that if a deal cannot be reached before Christmas there is little chance of any deal being struck in the New Year with a UK general election due in May.

Sinn Fein claimed that the financial package on offer was insufficient with Gerry Adams taking to Twitter to strongly criticise the discussions:

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The North’s deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that what Cameron was offering was not new money. The Sinn Féin MLA said: “we were all distinctly underwhelmed by his generosity”.

First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson said he did not believe the parties had “sufficiently challenged” Cameron “on what his bottom line is on financial issues” having not reached agreement on implementing welfare reforms in the North.

The leader of the Alliance Party, David Ford, claimed that there had been little progress made on some issues since last year’s cross-party talks chaired by the US diplomat Richard Haass and that on some issues “we are in a worse position”.

- First published 12.09 pm

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Hugh O'Connell

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