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The deal that could transform politics in Northern Ireland – podcast

When the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) walked out of the power-sharing agreement in Stormont two years ago over the Brexit deal imposed from London, Northern Ireland was, in effect, left without a government. Instead, civil servants following directions from London managed budgets and made decisions while politicians tried and failed to restore the power-sharing deal that has been carefully cultivated since the Good Friday agreement.

As Rory Carroll tells Michael Safi, a tweaked deal agreed to by the DUP this week looks set to bring the return of power sharing, but this time it will look different. After the election two years ago, Northern Ireland will have a Sinn Féin politician as its first minister for the first time. Mary Lou McDonald said on Tuesday that the expected restoration of power sharing would be a “historical turning of the wheel” and leave a united Ireland “within touching distance”.

Jeffery Donaldson walks down the steps outside the parliament buildings in Belfast

Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

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