DUP leader Arlene Foster says 'serious and significant gaps' remain between her party and Sinn Féin

Talk to restore power sharing in the North have broken down over the Irish language.

In a statement, the DUP says that 'serious and significant gaps' remain between the party and Sinn Féin, and said they will not agree to a free standing Irish language act.

Arlene Foster has called on the British government to set a budget and start making policy decisions.

She said: "As far back as last summer, I outlined my party’s willingness to reach an accommodation on language and cultural issues. However, I indicated that any such accommodation must be fair, balanced and capable of commanding support on all sides of our community. 

"At the moment, we do not have a fair and balanced package."

She added: "In our view, there is no current prospect of these discussions leading to an Executive being formed."

Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Féin's leader in the North, said they will speak to both governments on where to go from here - saying her party had an 'accommodation' that DUP leaders failed to close on.

She added the issues such as the Irish language act and marriage rights 'will not go away'.

She told reporters: "Whether it's today, tomorrow, one month, two months, six months down the line... we have to resolve these issues if we're going to restore these institutions."

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said he was 'disappointed' by the DUP's announcement.

Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing government since the collapse of the Stormont Executive in January 2017.

There have been numerous efforts to form a new executive since an election last March, with the latest round of talks getting under way last month.