Northern Irish Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness Resigns

Under Northern Ireland's power-sharing arrangements, the Executive can only operate with the participation of both unionists and nationalists. Sinn Fein has however already stated its unwillingness to return to the status quo.

"How could anybody in real terms describe that as power-sharing?"

Before Christmas, she told Stormont the lack of cost controls on the scheme, which meant businesses were receiving more in subsidies than they were paying for renewable fuel, had been her "biggest political regret".

It follows a row between Sinn Fein and the DUP over a green energy scheme that has landed the taxpayer with an estimated bill of £490 million over the next 20 years.

Ms Foster wanted to begin an investigation into the flawed renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme by the end of the week.

Opposition parties also criticized the decision by Sinn Féin to pull the plug, saying a new election will delay the inquiry, and their ability to curtail the costs.

"They have a long list of grievances and they have just decided it's not going to go on any longer".

Sinn Fein has called on the Government not to implement the so-called "bedroom tax" in Northern Ireland after the crisis at Stormont threatened planned mitigation pay outs.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson has accused Sinn Fein of being more concerned by legacy issues than the RHI scandal and "putting soldiers and policemen in the dock" over the party's motivations in collapsing the devolved institutions.

Mr McGuinness said Mrs Foster had a "clear conflict of interest" having overseen and approved the scheme was therefore "not credible or tenable".

Liverpool vs Man City Klopp expects defence to decide Anfield showdown
Our forward players can be devastating but our defence is prone to conceding a goal or two against the better teams in the league. We are happy about our way and what the rest is doing we can have no influence on until we play them.

Unlike Foster's DUP, Sinn Fein campaigned against Britain leaving the European Union, and McGuinness has called for a referendum on Northern Ireland joining the Republic of Ireland to avoid an exit, which could see border checks reinstated. McGuinness recently took a break from some of his duties because of an undisclosed illness. When they agreed to share power, it was truly momentous.

Sinn Fein will not nominate a replacement in an effort to prompt an election to allow the electorate to "make their own judgement" at the ballot box.

She responded: "All Sammy can do is revert to type and talk about the past".

Which means we are, in all likelihood, facing a protracted period of stalement and suspension while talks aimed at stitching devolution back together again take place.

She said Ms Foster and her party are "living in a state of denial" and need to realise "the game is up". "It is definitely time for change in Northern Ireland".

O'Neill, now Northern Ireland's health minister and a member of the Legislative Assembly, stressed that voters should have their say on the RHI scandal and other issues in the country, including women's rights and use of the Irish language.

Northern Ireland's political instability could have a significant bearing on Brexit, too.

Professor Roger Scully, an expert in Welsh elections, says that although the party remains comfortably ahead of its rivals such results bring it to a "tipping point" where it started "losing significant numbers of constituency seats" in the Assembly.

Meanwhile, Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell is in London for talks with his United Kingdom government counterpart David Davis.


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