The Prime Minister and Taoiseach are in Belfast holding talks at Stormont in a bid to help end the 13-month political stalemate in Northern Ireland.

Theresa May and Leo Varadkar arrived at Stormont House before lunch, ahead of a bilateral meeting to discuss the impasse.

The Belfast Telegraph exclusively revealed last Thursday that Sinn Fein and the DUP were very close to a deal, which sees significant compromise by both sides to end the political stalemate.

Talks sources last night described Monday as a “huge day” in the negotiations.

A Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May would take part in a series of meetings at Stormont House, and encouraged Sinn Fein and the DUP to resolve their differences.

A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said that he and Mrs May would assess the state of play in the negotiations between the two parties.

On Monday Mr Varadkar tweeted that he had met with Secretary of State Karen Bradley ahead of the day’s meetings.

Earlier today the Prime Minister met aircraft workers at Bombardier’s Belfast factory in the wake of the company’s trade battle victory in the United States.

Theresa May tours Bombardier plant following US tariffs court fight 

Theresa May toured the plant floor where the wings of the Canadian manufacturer’s C Series jets are built.

Bombardier’s bitter trade dispute with Boeing had threatened jobs at the Belfast plant after the United States trade authorities sided with the US company and proposed a 292% tariff on the import of its rival’s planes into the country.

There was a huge sigh of relief in Belfast when that decision was overturned by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington DC last month.

One thousand of the 4,000 strong workforce at the Belfast factory work on the C Series production line.

Belfast Telegraph

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