» Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Northern Ireland

Asked for further information on the Prime Minister’s speech on Thursday about the Northern Ireland peace process, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that what was important was that as people knew, we had been considering our proposals for some time. We had had talks, not just with the parties who we were seeing this week, but also with the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists. We were going to come up with proposals which the two Governments believed offered a way forward. It would be for the parties to respond to that, but the PMOS suspected that we would be in a position where it would not be anybody’s ideal way forward, but we believed it would offer a definite way forward and we hoped that the parties would respond in a positive way. The PMOS said we should see where we got to on Thursday.

Asked if it would be right to think that we might need to have some primary legislation within a year to change the rules, the PMOS replied that tempting as it was the mark the Guardian out of ten for accuracy, the best thing was that people should wait for Thursday.

Asked about Sinn Fein, who said that they would not consent to any shadow assembly, or any scrutinising committee, the PMOS said that what was important was that people reacted to what actually was proposed on Thursday, rather that what they feared might be proposed. Therefore, people should wait until the proposals were on the table, and then people could respond accordingly. The important thing was that we did not react to shadows, but that we reacted to substance, and that would be on Thursday.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news

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