Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. NI secretary says there's "no appetite" for another election after deadline passes without a deal to form new power-sharing executive
  2. James Brokenshire is to make a further statement in parliament tomorrow
  3. DUP and Sinn Féin, blame each other for the impasse and collapse of talks
  4. Planned assembly session to appoint a first and deputy first minister was cancelled

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved


So, another day of stalemate at Stormont... what's new, you might well ask?

The deadline has passed to form a new executive and there's nothing in place, so it looks like it's back to the talks table for the political parties.

Parliament Buildings at Stormont

We'll hopefully find out what Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire's plan is tomorrow when he gives a statement in the House of Commons.

But until then, that's all from us - goodnight.

Devolution must be based on equality - SF

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly denies that the party are not interested in getting devolution back, saying "no-one has worked harder than ourselves to try and get these institutions to work".

Gerry Kelly

"But they have to work on the basis of equality and on the basis of respect and that has not been there," he says.

Process was shambolic, says Elliott

Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott has described the talks process as shambolic and said the DUP and Sinn Féin are incapable of doing a deal on their own.

Tom Elliott

"The secretary of state was weak in letting the talks drift along and appears to have seen his role as a facilitator rather than as a convenor. He needs to take a grip of the situation," he added.

Parties can agree within two weeks - Ahern

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern says a deadline to reach agreement should be set at Easter, but he's optimistic that minor issues can be ironed out sooner than that.

Bertie Ahern

"Most of them are not complicated issues; most of them are issues that were thrashed out in the run up to last year's election," he says.

"I really think that if they put their heads to this, and their commitment and trust into each other, they can wrap this up in two weeks."

End political impotence - Eastwood

Political "impotence" at Stormont can't continue and the parties must return to the talks table, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood says.

Colum Eastwood and SDLP colleagues
Press Eye

"We are facing an immediate budgetary crisis; we are days away from the triggering of Article 50," he adds.

"What's needed now is a new, structured dialogue to take the place of the shapeless process that has concluded - a resolution is possible."

Dodds questions SF's commitment

The DUP's Nigel Dodds says Sinn Féin's approach to the talks raises questions about whether their focus is really on restoring devolution, or do they want to "sit out" difficult decisions that will have to be made in government. 

Nigel Dodds

"The jury is out on Sinn Féin's position at the moment and I think they will have to be tested. We are certainly up for devolution," he said.  

Parties must get serious - Long

Parties need to "get serious" about striking a deal in the extended negotiating window, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long says.

Naomi Long and Alliance Party colleagues
Press Eye

"It is unthinkable a project made up of 25 years of hope, time and effort from many quarters could be thrown away so lightly," she adds.

"If people are sincere about reaching a deal, there is no reason things cannot get serious, immediately."  

People will ask: 'What's different this time?'

Gareth Gordon

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

Ultimately, the Stormont crisis will be resolved by the parties themselves getting around the table, supported by the government.

Parliament Buildings at Stormont
Press Eye

People will say: 'Is that not what we just had?' and 'What will be different this time?' James Brokenshire did not give us any of those details.

Read more here .

'Significant gaps remain'

Mr Brokenshire says there's been progress on a number of issues, including setting a budget, a programme for government, and legacy issues.

He added: "There remain significant gaps between parties over issues surrounding culture and identity."

James Brokenshire

The secretary of state says there is an "overwhelming desire" for "strong and stable devolved government" and "no appetite for any alternative".

Watch: Brokenshire speaks to the media

Flanagan 'deeply regrets' talks collapse

The Irish Foreign Affairss Minister Charlie Flanagan has expressed his "deep regret" that a deal has not been possible.

Charlie Flanagan

"It is particularly concerning that a vacuum in devolved government in Northern Ireland should now be occurring just as the island of Ireland faces up to the many serious challenges represented by the UK exit from the EU," he said.

"The Irish Government will continue to advocate very strongly for Northern Ireland's interests to be protected. However, there is no substitute for an executive speaking with one voice on these critical issues."

'A few short weeks'

Brokenshire: 'No appetite for snap election'

The secretary of state says he does not believe there is any appetite "for any immediate snap election".


"We now have a small window of opportunity" to find agreement,he says.

Scene is set

We're waiting for a statement from Secretary of State James Brokenshire - he's set to appear any moment. 

Secretary of State press conference

Deadline passes

The 4pm deadline to appoint first and deputy first ministers and form an executive has passed without agreement. 

James Brokenshire

Secretary of State James Brokenshire is expected to announce shortly whether he will allow negotiations to continue, call another election or reimpose direct rule from London.

What next for the budget?

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics and Business Editor

With no deal at Stormont, no budget will be passed for the new financial year - so what now? Well, public services won't grind to a halt.

David Sterling

Instead, the most senior civil servant at the Department of Finance, David Sterling, will use emergency powers to keep some money flowing.

Read more: No Stormont budget - what happen next?

'Budget requires immediate action'

The voluntary and community sectors are being severely impacted by a lack of an agreed Stormont budget and uncertainty over funding, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) says.

Seamus McAleavey

Failure to agree a political deal means it will be up to the civil service to set a budget.

NICVA chief executive Seamus McAleavey (pictured) says: "NICVA fears that, even before further cuts are confirmed, the current uncertainty on funding for next year will be extremely damaging to organisations seeking to provide continuity of services and retain worried staff."

DUP: Brokenshire is 'best person you could get'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Ian Paisley Junior, Democratic Unionist Party MP in Northern Ireland, has said "there is a deliberate attitude to undermine" Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire by Sinn Féin. 

Mr Paisley told Martha Kearney on BBC Radio Four the DUP was not opposed to compromise on the Irish language act but that they are "issues that the legislature should be dealing with, not negotiation". 

A new leader at Stormont

Judging by today, it looks like Robin Swann will have plenty to deal with after he becomes the UUP leader.

View more on twitter

'Stormont talks need government participation'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern, who was one of the architects of the Good Friday agreement, tells Martha Kearney he hopes the secretary of state will bring in "an extension of time" for the talks, but that it should be no longer than Easter. 

Mr Ahern says: "There's an obligation on Downing Street and the Irish government" to be involved, as for the last 25 years "compromises are normally brokered through participation of the governments".  

Tick, tock!

Time is ticking down to the 4pm deadline to reach a deal to save Stormont and restore a power-sharing executive - and it's not looking good.

Arlene Foster

So, where does each party stand in the talks and what are their demands? Read our round-up of each of the parties' red line issues, here.

Former Sinn Féin MLA hits out at James Brokenshire

'Civil servants will be running Northern Ireland'

.@NicholaMallon: "Almost 20 years beyond the Good Friday Agreement we are looking at a scenario where civil servants will be running NI."

Stormont budget deadline looms


One reader isn't too impressed.

View more on twitter

Careful what you wish for Steven, there's plenty of drying paint needs coverage... 

Cut the purse strings, says Carroll

People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll says MLA's salaries need to be cut if the assembly is not sitting.

Gerry Carroll

"Why should MLAs still be getting a full salary, still be getting a full wage?" he said.

UUP 'very, very frustrated'

Outgoing Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt says the talks process was a "complete shambles" and that "an unelected civil servant is about to become arguably the most important man in Northern Ireland". 

Mike Nesbitt

"We are very, very frustrated that we are not being allowed to get on with the work in full."

He added that the party wants to know why James Brokenshire did not call a round-table meeting in the last three weeks.

What next after 'worst ever' Stormont talks?

Mark Devenport

BBC News NI Political Editor

The Ulster Unionist chief negotiator said it was "simply the worst" talks process ever. Blame is being thrown around between the DUP and Sinn Féin.

Stormont crisis

Now, all eyes are on Secretary of State James Brokenshire and what he chooses to do next - read more about his options, including another expensive election or a return to direct rule.

Public are 'furious'

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has again called for an independent chair for the talks process.

He says there has to be "a new process" and that it would be "very difficult" for Secretary of State James Brokenshire to chair the talks.


"Let’s refocus ourselves, let’s not accept that this can’t be done - this can be done and it can be done quickly. An election won't solve anything.

"The public are absolutely furious."

'A lot for one bill'

What about the economy?

Sinn Féin 'standing firm'

Sinn Féin has spoken to the media at Stormont - and their northern leader, Michelle O'Neill, says the party is standing firm over their talks stance. 

Sinn Fein at Stormont

"Previous agreements need to be implemented," she said. "We came at the negotiations with the right attitude, wanting to make the institutions work, wanting to deliver for all citizens."

She added the DUP "didn't approach the negotiations with the right attitude" and that the "British government did not play their role in the way they should". 

'The money has to stop'

Sinn Féin 'focused on talks'

          . @moneillsf says @JBrokenshire has number of options but SF is focussed on continuing to talk

. @moneillsf says @JBrokenshire has number of options but SF is focussed on continuing to talk

'Election will not resolve NI problems'

Alliance leader Naomi Long says an election will not resolve the problems in Northern Ireland and has warned of the impact it could have on the community.

Speaking at Stormont, Mrs Long says a deal is possible and that direct rule is not a good option for Northern Ireland.

Naomi Long

She says that all the main parties will meet both governments later to try to find a way forward.

'Serious issues exist'

. @DUPleader says serious issues exist esp around hospital waiting lists and people will continue to suffer. @BBCNewsNI

Redundancies blamed on deadlock

Sinn Féin showed 'gross disrespect'

The DUP's Edwin Poots tells Talkback: "There was a lot of talk about respect before the election, but throughout the talks process, there has been a distinct lack of respect coming from Sinn Féin."

Edwin Poots

"The fact they refused to have James Brokenshire chair the sessions and give it structure, their non-respect of the other parties in their refusal to have plenary sessions. They have shown gross disrespect to everyone else."

Get in touch with the Talkback team