LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - The British government said on Thursday it would set the 2022/23 budget for Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning devolved government.
"We recognise the public in Northern Ireland must be protected in future by bringing the public finances under control so it is with significant regret that I am now setting a Northern Ireland Budget," the British government's Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris said in a statement.
Northern Ireland has been without a functioning devolved government or executive since February, when the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party began a boycott of the regional assembly in protest at post-Brexit trading arrangements known as the Northern Ireland protocol.
"I have a clear message to the parties - if they disagree with my budget, they should restore the executive to consider and revise the departmental position I have set out," Heaton-Harris said.
The British government earlier this month pushed back a deadline to hold a new election in Northern Ireland until at least March to provide space for progress in talks with the European Union on the Northern Ireland protocol.
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