Ireland fears United Kingdom election could damage talks to ease Northern Ireland impasse

DUP leader Arlene Foster

Mr Eastwood said that the election on Brexit offers an opportunity for the public to stand behind parties which have steadfastly fought to defend the North.

Sinn Féin's northern leader Michelle O'Neill said the election would be "an opportunity for voters to oppose Brexit and reject Tory cuts and austerity".

Elsewhere, DUP leader Arlene Foster said that this election would be an opportunity for "unionists to unite around a strong Democratic Unionist Party", while new UUP leader Robin Swann said "NI needs strong representation in Westminster.arguing the best case for Northern Ireland".

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams tweeted that it was another chance to vote against Brexit.

The Conservative Party leader, who succeeded David Cameron as prime minister last summer, is hoping to capitalize on the low opinion poll ratings of the Labour Party and its controversial leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Brokenshire confirmed on Tuesday that the British government would legislate to set local tax rates for homes and businesses in Northern Ireland but was still seeking a political accord and that talks had identified possible areas of consensus.

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What all that means is this general election will be about, more than ever before, unionism versus nationalism - orange versus green.

"The Secretary of State told me that his intention, announced last week, remains unchanged - namely, to bring forward legislation at Westminster in the coming days which will include a provision to allow a Northern Ireland Executive to be formed in early May".

"From the beginning of her tenure as British prime minister she has shown very little but disinterest and disdain for this place".

Since last May, Northern Ireland voters have gone to the polls for two Assembly elections and for the European Union referendum.

But with tensions in the province already high over Brexit and with unionists, who hold some of their 11 Westminster seats by a slim margin, anxious about the rise of Sinn Fein, this general election is likely to make politics in Northern Ireland even more turbulent than it has been in recent months.

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