UK 'fully committed' to Good Friday Agreement

Theresa May
Theresa May

The Government has said it is "fully committed" to the Good Friday Agreement.

It is working towards getting the devolved administration at Stormont up and running again, Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman confirmed.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson recently retweeted a commentator's suggestion that the 1998 accord which largely ended decades of violence had outlived its use.

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley is due to update Parliament on the Stormont impasse on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The Government remains fully committed to the Good Friday Agreement and we continue to work towards getting the devolved administration up and running again.

"It is disappointing that agreement has not yet been reached between the parties, but we do still believe that the basis for an accommodation exists."

The Easter agreement was signed almost 20 years ago between the British and Irish Governments and enjoyed support from most of the major parties in Northern Ireland. Ian Paisley's DUP opposed it.

It enabled the formation of a ministerial Executive and Assembly at Stormont.

The Irish Government has repeatedly stressed the need to protect the Agreement.

Mr Paterson was Northern Ireland Secretary from 2010.

He also tweeted that Northern Ireland deserved good government, and health services were falling behind the rest of the UK without a devolved Executive.