Full statement from Foster on talks collapse

DUP Leader Arlene Foster
DUP Leader Arlene Foster

This is the full statement from DUP leader Arlene Foster following Sinn Fein’s announcement that no deal to restore Stormont is possible before the deadline expires on Monday.

It is likely that the Secretary of State will now be forced to call new elections.

DUP Leader Rt Hon Mrs Foster MLA said: “While regrettable the reality is that sufficient progress was not achieved in the time available to form a new Executive.

“The DUP was ready to form a new administration without pre-conditions so as to allow us to have a budget and to deal with the many matters that currently face the people of Northern Ireland.

“Negotiations will only ever be successful when parties are prepared to be flexible in order to secure outcomes.

“To date there was little to suggest that Sinn Fein want to secure agreement.

“At every opportunity they have resisted involving the other parties and consequently no round table discussions were possible during this round of discussions.

“Any future discussions will have to built on a more solid footing.

“Throughout the course of Saturday Sinn Fein behaved as if they were the only participants whose mandate mattered.

“This cannot and will not be the basis for a successful outcome.

“The DUP stands ready to continue to discuss how we can secure new arrangements for Northern Ireland.”