LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a deal to end political deadlock in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government over budget cuts this week, he said on Thursday.
Britain called all-party talks nine weeks ago aimed at breaking the impasse in Belfast’s devolved government - where power is shared between nationalist and unionist parties following three decades of sectarian violence - and settling other divisive issues like parading and the flying of flags.
“These talks have reached a crucial phase ... I am determined to do everything I can to help resolve outstanding issues,” Cameron, who will join the talks on Thursday, wrote in an article in the Belfast Telegraph.
“The UK Government, along with our very close colleagues in the Irish Government, will be pushing hard to bring these discussions to a successful conclusion this week. I am confident, too, that Northern Ireland’s political leaders share a genuine desire to reach an agreement.”
Britain raised the stakes last week by pledging to devolve corporation tax setting powers to Northern Ireland as soon as next year if it could resolve the standoff.
Northern Ireland shares mainland Britain’s 21 percent corporate tax rate, much higher than a 12.5 percent rate across the border in Ireland that has helped the country become one of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign direct investment.
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Osborn