Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland talks to have impact on security says Andrew Murrison

House of Commons
Image caption Mr Murrison was speaking during Northern Ireland Questions

A Northern Ireland Office minister has told the House of Commons the outcome of the inter-party talks will have "a big impact on security".

Andrew Murrison was speaking during Northern Ireland Questions.

He was standing in for Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, who is chairing negotiations at Stomont.

"The outcome of these talks will have a big impact on security in Northern Ireland and we all need to understand that," Mr Murrison said.

"All parties need to understand the extent of the stakes. If this process fails, then I'm afraid the future will not look good."

Mr Murrison was responding to a question from SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell.

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has said he believes there is a parallel negotiation going on at Stormont Castle on budget matters between Sinn Féin and the DUP.

"There has been no discussion of the budget in the all-party talks for quite a number of sessions," he said

"It seems to me this is happening between Sinn Féin and the DUP exclusively, not at Stormont House, but at Stormont Castle, and that's wrong."

Prime ministers arriving

Prime Minister David Cameron and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will arrive in Northern Ireland on Thursday to try to help broker a deal.

On Monday, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has said he hoped the government regards the end of this week as the deadline to reach agreement in the Stormont cross-party talks.

He said that when Mr Cameron and Mr Kenny joined the negotiations on Thursday, they may push the Northern Ireland political parties to get a deal over the line.

However, he added that they in turn would find themselves being pushed on issues that the parties want to see delivered.

The talks concern disputes on flags, parades, the past and welfare reform.

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