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Northern Ireland news - live: Reunification vote ‘within decade,’ suggests Sinn Fein

Irish nationalist party has hailed ‘new era’ after emerging after winning most seats in Stormont for first time

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill hails ‘new era’ in Northern Ireland after victory

The leader of Sinn Fein has stepped up calls for a poll on Irish reunification - and claimed this will happen over the course of the next decade.

Mary Lou McDonald asked for all-Ireland citizens assembly to discuss the idea now after her republican party took the most seats in the Northern Ireland assembly election.

Also on Sunday, the British deputy prime minister said stability in the country was “imperilled” by problems with its post-Brexit agreement.

The unionist DUP will refuse to serve with Sinn Fein in a power-sharing executive unless there are major changes to the Northern Ireland protocol.

Dominic Raab told Sky News: “It’s clear from the dynamic that we now see that we won’t get to that position of stability unless and until it is fixed.”

Over in Westminster, Boris Johnson is planning to announce new laws that will “deliver on the promise of Brexit” as he looks to bounce back from a bruising set of local election results for the Tory party.

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Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of UK politics in Westminster, Stormont and beyond.

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Sinn Fein hails ‘new era’ after historic win

Sinn Fein has hailed a “new era” for Northern Ireland as the Irish nationalist party swept history aside and emerged the largest political force at Stormont assembly for the first time.

Michelle O’Neill, the party’s leader north of the border, challenged the Democratic Unionist Party to drop its obsession with Brexit checks and “work together” to restore the collapsed power-sharing executive.

Adam Forrest has more:

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New ‘Brexit Bills’

Boris Johnson is planning to announce the new laws which will “deliver on the promise of Brexit” in the Queen’s Speech, he told the Sunday Express.

“I call them the super seven – and they will benefit families and businesses across the land by changing old EU rules that don’t work for the UK,” he said.

Read more here:

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Plan to revive town centres

One of the “Brexit Bills” is about trying to revive struggling town centres.

It will include plan to rid high streets of “derelict shopfronts” and restore neighbourhood pride, with councils given extra powers to force landlords to rent out empty shops.

Other measures will include the ability to make the pavement cafes which sprang up during the Covid-19 pandemic a permanent part of the town centre landscape.

Here is what Gary Neville has to say:

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Raab admits Northern Ireland protocol putting stability at risk

Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, is doing the media rounds this morning. He kicks them off talking about Northern Ireland on Sky News.

He told Sky News stability was being “imperiled” by problems with the Northern Ireland protocol.

The deputy prime minister was challenged over the fact this post-Brexit agreement was his party’s making. “This Northern Ireland protocol was what you imposed,” interviewer Sophy Ridge said.

See here:

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Raab says Northern Ireland protocol ‘not working for all communities'

Dominic Raab admits problems with post-Brexit trade agreement in Northern Ireland.

“Fundamentally, that Northern Ireland protocol is not working for communities right across the piece in Northern Ireland, and you hear that from the businesses and from communities across the political spectrum. So it doe sneed to be fixed,” he tells Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

Asked if the UK would push through changes itself, he said: “We have been clear that option has not been taken off the table.” But he adds: “We’d prefer to get it resolved in negotiation.”

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Fears of ‘horrific’ Brexit trade war escalation

On the topic of the Northern Ireland protocol, UK business chiefs fear a “horrific” economic impact if the prime minister provokes a trade war with the EU over the post-Brexit agreement.

Exclusive story by Adam Forrest here:

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Raab plays down possibility of border poll

Dominic Raab played down the prospect of a border poll on Irish reunification following Sinn Fein’s Stormont success.

“If you look at the results in Northern Ireland, 58 per cent fully of people voted either for parties who support the union or for parties who do not support constitutional change and that is the message from the people of Northern Ireland,” he told Sky News.

PA

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Stability ‘in peril’ unless NI protocol ditched, Raab says

Dominic Raab said Northern Ireland Protocol checks need to be scrapped to resolve power-sharing at Stormont following Sinn Fein’s election success.

Adam Forrest reports:

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Local election results ‘challening’, deputy PM says

Dominic Raab said the local election results had been “challenging” but a “mixed bag” for the Conservatives.

He denied the Queen’s Speech would be a “reset” for Boris Johnson’s administration but told Sky News: “What we’re going to be focusing on this week is what our plans are to drive up the economy, protect the cost of living.

PA

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