Negotiations for a Government in Northern Ireland have Failed

Negotiations for a Government in Northern Ireland have Failed

She said it included an Irish Language Act, an Ulster Scots Act and a Respecting Language and Diversity Act.

Theresa May's government should consider imposing social changes on Northern Ireland, such as gay marriage, in the absence of a deal to restore power-sharing at Stormont, Labour has said.

The talks ended on Wednesday after the DUP declared there was "no current prospect" of a deal.

The Irish and British governments will seek a way to get talks on restoring Northern Ireland's power-sharing government back on track and neither is contemplating a return of direct rule from London, Ireland's foreign minister said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said what Sinn Fein said "bears no resemblance to reality" and there was no draft deal.

The power-sharing government was set up as part of the 1998 Good Friday peace accords, which brought an end to three decades of sectarian conflict that left 3,500 people dead in Northern Ireland. The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues separating Northern Ireland's British unionists and Irish nationalists.

Many unionists see the promotion of Irish as an attempt to undermine Northern Ireland's British identity, and as a step toward Sinn Fein's ultimate goal of joining it with the Republic of Ireland.

Ms Villiers claimed "there is a way to deliver" a solution that suits both sides, adding: "I don't think the parties are a million miles away from delivering that legislation that Sinn Fein really wants".

Same-sex marriage was also an obstacle to the two parties - it's illegal in Northern Ireland, but legal in the rest of the United Kingdom and in Ireland.

Earlier this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Belfast to hold discussions with political parties in the North.

Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, said in the absence of a Northern Ireland administration "other challenging decisions will have to be taken by the United Kingdom government".

Michelle O'Neill said had the agreement been honoured, they would have been in government today.

The vacuum has limited Belfast's say in Brexit negotiations that will decide the future of the border between the North and EU-member Ireland.

"The position of the United Kingdom government remains the same - devolved government is in the best interests of everyone in Northern Ireland and is best for the union", she said.