LONDON (Reuters) - The British government will give Northern Irish parties "some space" over the next few days to continue their talks to restore the province's power-sharing executive, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday.
The parties had until 1500 GMT on Thursday to agree a way to restore the executive, but that deadline was missed.
"From our perspective, the position is that this doesn't mean the efforts to restore the executive are ending. We are now allowing the parties some space to continue the discussions," the spokeswoman told reporters, adding that Northern Ireland minister, James Brokenshire, would make a statement on Monday.
"We believe that very good progress has been made. We believe that a resolution can be found and we are urging the parties to continue focusing their efforts on achieving it and continuing the talks over the next few days."
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Andrew MacAskill