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Direct rule is the obvious next step for Northern Ireland—so why isn’t Theresa May going ahead with it?

A series of short-sighted decisions means May has (yet again) backed herself into a corner

By Siobhán Fenton  

In Northern Ireland, hope of a power-sharing deal has faded into obscurity and patience is wearing thin among politicians and voters alike.

Northern Ireland has been in limbo since the power-sharing government first collapsed in January 2017. First, the British government called an election to try and break the impasse, only for the electorate to re-elect the same politicians who returned with the same qualms and red lines. A deadline was then set for the parties to reach an agreement to go back into government before direct rule might have to…

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