The Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein) has resigned. Under power-sharing procedures developed under the Good Friday agreement in 1997, First Minister Arlene Foster (Democratic Unionist Party) can no longer continue in her role with Mr McGuinness. This mean the government in the Northern Irish Assembly has effectively collapsed, bringing elections in the next few months. The elections will be fought on the backdrop of a scandal that has reportedly cost taxpayers £400 million, which has been blamed on Ms Foster.

It is unclear whether the UK will have to wait until after the elections to trigger Article 50, as Westminster awaits the Supreme Court verdict on whether the national assemblies in N. Ireland and Scotland have veto power. This comes alongside an already tense political scene surrounding the future land border between the European Union and the UK (currently the border between Ireland and N. Ireland).

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