Johnson heralds 'historic time' for Northern Ireland

Irish Foreign Affairs minister Simon Coveney and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith issue a statement outside Stormont Parliament buildings in Belfast where meetings with parties involved in talks to resurrect the devolved gover

The afternoon will continue on with the election of a DUP first minister, a Sinn Féin deputy first minister and the rest of the new ministerial executive.

"Blackmail of a secretary of state who says "I have the money to fix the health service but I won't give it unless there is an Executive", he said.

Speculation has abounded around the exact financial figure committed to Northern Ireland as part of last week's deal.

Powersharing returned after the DUP and Sinn Fein, the region's two largest parties, agreed to re-enter a mandatory coalition ministerial executive.

The two parties had been facing a January 13 deadline to provide Northern Ireland with a new government or hold new elections.

Ahead of Mr Johnson's arrival, a Stormont minister said he expected the Government to deliver at least £2billion to support the powersharing deal.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit Northern Ireland on Monday to meet with the newly formed executive leaders after a breakthrough that ended with years of political paralysis.

All five of the main parties in Northern Ireland are to come together to form the region's new powersharing executive.

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Sinn Fein had been seeking increased rights for Irish speakers and a reform of the system of governance to prevent DUP, the largest party, from blocking legislation using a clause from the 1998 peace deal to protect minority rights.

Mr Johnson said discussions at Stormont would focus on how the executive meant to take forward "critical reforms" to public services.

Welcoming the deal, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said via Twitter, "This is a great step forwards for the people of Northern Ireland and for restoring public confidence in stable devolved Government and delivering much needed reforms to public services".

This is an historic time for the people of Northern Ireland.

Their visit comes less than 48 hours after a special sitting of the assembly saw devolution return for the first time in three years. The pro-British Democratic Unionist Party had already endorsed the plans to restart the institutions, which collapsed in February 2017 over a renewable energy initiative that spiraled far over-budget.

The central government has promised to inject hundreds of millions of pounds into the NHS of Northern Ireland in the aftermath of the political agreement that led to the re-establishment of decentralized government.

In the new deal, the Northern Irish assembly will decide four years after a transition period whether or not to keep the new customs arrangements.

Northern Ireland - part of the United Kingdom along with England, Wales and Scotland - has been without a functioning administration since the power-sharing government set up after a 1998 peace accord fell apart in January 2017 over a botched green-energy project.

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