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Johnson announces "historical time,quot; for Northern Ireland"

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Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the DUP did not want to sign up to a deal only to encounter more problems in a few months' time

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left), First Minister, Arlene Foster of the DUP (centre right), deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill (centre left) of Sinn Fein, and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith (right) during their visit to Stormont.

"It's shown a willingness to trust each other and to set aside differences and I think it's absolutely commendable and wonderful to see", he said.

They agreed a deal with the governments that includes extra funding for NI, but the exact figure is not yet known.

A 1998 peace accord that ended three decades of violence over British rule of Northern Ireland in which thousands died requires the two main parties to share power.

Ultimately, the deadline was missed and an amendment was made to the Northern Ireland Act 2019 by Labour MP Conor McGinn, confirming that the government must legislate for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, according to BBC News.

Ahead of Mr Johnson's arrival, a Stormont minister said he expected the Government to deliver at least £2billion to support the powersharing deal.

Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar will meet the first and deputy first ministers to discuss the new executive's priorities.

Ms Foster said Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement would also be on the cards when she meets with Mr Johnson.

The centrist Alliance party and its leader, Naomi Long, will now head the police and courts department because unionists have insisted that Sinn Féin can not control the Department of Justice given of his past association with the IRA.

Johnson will use the visit to press the need for public service reform after years of political stalemate.

Discussions will focus on the Executive's priorities to take forward critical reforms to public services.

DUP Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots warned that the money could be subject to "conditions", possibly due to an executive obligation to generate additional income through the introduction of water fees or an increase in interest rates.

The LGBT equality charity Stonewall said it was an "historic day for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland who finally have the chance to say "I do".

"I want to hear from him today how he's going to do that and how the regulations that are coming forward are going to make sure that there aren't any barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, because the rest of the United Kingdom, Great Britain, is our biggest market, both in terms of what we send to them but also what they send to us".

The last DUP/Sinn Fein-led coalition government collapsed in January 2017 over a row about a botched green energy scheme.

After the landmark deal to restore devolution, the Assembly has returned three years on from the acrimonious collapse of the powersharing institutions.

"And of course the blackmail of Sinn Fein that you can only have a government if you pay the ransom that they demand".

The draft accord requires the executive "to provide official recognition of the status of the Irish language in Northern Ireland" and to "respect the freedom of all persons.to choose, affirm, maintain and develop their national and cultural identity".

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