Deal is 17 months away at least

Barry White’s prediction of when a deal will take place is as good as any. Not this year, he reckons, and probably no brought forward election, as had been rumoured before. In which case, the elections in Northern Ireland and the Republic may come into rough synchrony, and allow Sinn Fein to benchmark the extent of their political progress to date north and wouth. Which could free them to cut a deal that’s finally acceptable to their old adversaries in the DUP.