Mowlam stresses urgency of Ulster referendum

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The Independent Online
Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, yesterday stressed the urgent need to put a settlement to the people of Northern Ireland before the province's volatile marching season gets under way.

She insisted the peace talks were on track for a 7 May referendum, although she conceded "a slight delay" was possible. "But further down the road we have the parades and I don't think anybody would want to hold a referendum during the marching season," she told the BBC's On the Record programme. "It is a tight timetable. But we are working very hard to get the legislation together and the electoral machinery up and running." Ms Mowlam added that she believed "real progress" had been made in the talks over the past week.

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