Lord Hain claimed that it would be “catastrophic” if Northern Ireland’s parties did not manage to form a new coalition executive, and powers were returned back to Westminster.
Northern Ireland’s current Secretary James Brokenshire has already warned local political leaders they will only be given a “few short weeks” to resolve their differences.
After missing Monday’s 4pm statutory deadline, Lord Hain claimed that the uncertainty of Brexit is playing into Sinn Féin’s hands.
Speaking on Radio 4, he said: “The nationalists and republicans have always wanted a United Ireland and I think that Brexit plays into their hands.
Lord Hain claimed that Brexit was paying into Sinn Féin's hands
“This border issue is very serious. I do think it plays into Sinn Féin’s hands but I don’t think that is the reason for the impasse that we have seen.
“I think Sinn Féin genuinely want to see a settlement of the restoration of devolved government, as do all the other parties.”
Lord Hain also reiterated how serious it would be if an agreement was not reached, especially due to Brexit.
The UK governement gave Northern Ireland's parties more time to form a power-sharing executive
I think that Brexit plays into their hands
He added: “The dangers are direct rule, Westminster rule, will be re-imposed, and that would be catastrophic for the continued momentum for the peace process.
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“It is really important in Northern Ireland that things are kept moving forward.
“If we went back to 10 years ago when I was the last, as I thought, direct rule secretary of state, that would be very serious.
“Also, the question of the Irish border, it is the customs frontier, of the European Union, or rather will be after Brexit, and that would be really serious if security or some kind of hard border is reimposed.”
Under current legislation, the Government is required to call another snap election if a deadline for forming an executive passes.
However, there is some room for manoeuvre, as there is no obligation to set a poll date immediately, rather within a “reasonable period”.
Lord Hain finished: “What really matters is that these talks are serious in a way that I don’t think they have been sufficiently.
“I think the Prime Minister should be involved, whenever there has been an impasse or breakdown of this very serious nature, then Prime Ministers have got involved from both the UK and also the Irish Republic, that should have happen, I’ve been calling for it for weeks.”