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Villiers: Situation looks grim

The Secretary of State gives her assessment following today's meeting with the 5 Northern Ireland parties

Ms Villiers said:

The situation looks increasingly grim. No resolution was found at this afternoon’s meeting and time is running out.

If the impasse on welfare reform is not resolved, then the whole Stormont House Agreement is in jeopardy, including the £2b financial package and the new institutions on the past. We now face the real prospect of emergency budget provisions coming into operation by the end of July with a negative impact on front line public services. Implementation of the Stormont House Agreement is the only way to get things back on track. The Government is doing all it can to achieve this.

The question is whether Northern Ireland’s leaders are able to find a way to deliver on their side of the deal.