» Friday, January 29, 2010

Northern Ireland

Asked if there was any update on the situation in Northern Ireland, the Prime Minster’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that the Prime Minister was being regularly updated. He spoke to the Taoiseach yesterday and was in regular contact with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister also discussed the situation with Hillary Clinton yesterday.

The Prime Minister continued to believe that there was a reasonable basis for an agreement and it was for the parties to resolve the outstanding issues. The talks were continuing and we would keep people posted in terms of the process from here.

Asked about the timescale for an agreement, the PMS replied that negotiations were ongoing. The Prime Minister and the Taoiseach made it clear that today was the day that they expected a progress update. The PMS added that it was a good sign that discussions were continuing in Hillsborough.

Asked if there was a time today when an agreement had to be reached, the PMS said that he would keep people posted on the timing.

Asked what the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach expected to get from the parties today, the PMS said that there were clearly some outstanding issues such as the parades issue and the completion of the St Andrews agreement and it was for the parties to work through those. The PMS said that he did not know in what form the progress would be submitted but emphasised that today was a real deadline.

The PMS said that if the parties were not able to come to an agreement, then the two governments would publish their own proposals, but it was hoped that an agreement could be reached.

Asked whether the two governments plans were the same, the PMS said that they addressed the same issues, but we were hopeful that the parties would be in a position to make the progress that was needed.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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