UK and Ireland restate desire to get N.Ireland executive running by Oct. 28

Tractors drive past an exit sign and a road sign for Belfast on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, in Jonesborough, Northern Ireland, May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain and Ireland on Friday restated their desire to get the Northern Ireland executive, back up and running by Oct. 28, a joint communique issued following an inter-governmental conference said.

Stalemate over an agreement between Britain and the European Union on post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland has been blocking the formation of a new executive, which runs the British province's devolved power-sharing administration, since elections there in May.

"The UK and Irish Governments reaffirmed their commitment to doing everything possible to facilitate the re-establishment of the executive by 28 October and the full functioning of all of the political institutions established by the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement," said the communiqué, published by the British government.

The conference between senior British and Irish ministers in London is not directly linked to the Brexit trade negotiations, which have resumed separately this week with some positive signs that a deal might be reached.

The communique made only a passing reference to those negotiations, which are principally held between Britain and the EU Commission.

"The conference noted the ongoing discussions to address issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol and to find an agreed way forward," the communique said.

(Reporting by William James;Editing by Sachin Ravikumar and Michael Holden)

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