Britain has suspended Northern Ireland’s self-rule because of a scandal over spying in the Northern Irish legislature. The province has governed itself for three years through a power-sharing agreement between the Catholic republican parties, which favor joining Ireland, and the Protestant unionist parties, which favor staying a part of Britain. But cooperation has never been easy, and “home rule” has been briefly lifted three times before this week. This latest suspension came amid allegations that one of the Catholic parties was abetting an Irish Republican Army spy ring. Ministers from the Protestant parties threatened to quit and bring down the government. The British minister for Northern Ireland will govern the province until Protestants and Catholics can come to a new power-sharing agreement.
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