Irish PM to Meet May as Hopes Rise for Northern Irish Accord

(Bloomberg) -- Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is set to meet his British counterpart Theresa May, amid speculation a deal to break the deadlock over Northern Ireland’s power-sharing assembly is at hand.

Varadkar will travel to Belfast to meet May in Belfast on Monday, “to assess the state of play in the negotiations to restore the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly,” his office said.

The region’s assembly fell last year over an investigation into how the costs of a renewable energy initiative spiraled out of control. While the two governments have struggled to forge a path forward since, the Irish Times reported that a deal is close.

Still, the resumption of the assembly is likely to expose rifts in the region over Brexit. The North voted to remain in the bloc and its agriculture-based economy makes it especially vulnerable to higher trade tariffs that may follow if Britain leaves the European Union’s single market. While Sinn Fein effectively wants the region to remain in the bloc, the Democratic Unionist Party want the U.K. to exit the customs union and singe market.

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