PM set to publish NI policing package
Wednesday 21 October 2009
The Prime Minister will today publish financial details of an offer to kick-start the process of brokering a deal on policing in Northern Ireland.
The announcement came after Gordon Brown met Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in Downing Street for a third round of talks within a week.
Mr Robinson said once it was in the public domain he would discuss it with his party colleagues and other parties.
The financial package is believed to amount to some £800m and last night's talks were the first Mr Robinson had left without saying he still needed clarification.
Mr McGuinness said the latest discussions had been "a good night's work" and said devolution to the power sharing Executive was achievable before Christmas.
Once the deal is in the public arena Mr Robinson wants to meet David Cameron to have it "Tory-proofed" against the Conservative leader possibly becoming the Prime Minister in the coming months.
Ahead of the discussions Mr McGuinness went to Dublin for talks with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin.
Meanwhile Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams addressed the British/Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Swansea yesterday and said his party wanted to work with not against unionists.
He said: "Sinn Fein's vision of a new Ireland is of a shared Ireland, an integrated Ireland, an Ireland in which unionists have equal ownership, an Ireland in which there will be respect for cultural diversity, and a place in which there is political, social, economic and cultural equality."
He insisted: "There is no desire on the part of Irish republicans to conquer or humiliate unionists.
"There can be no place for revenge in the thinking or vocabulary of Irish republicanism."
He said the Northern Ireland border with the Irish Republic was more than just an inconvenience.
"The reality is that the economy of the North is too small to exist in isolation.
"The economies of both parts of the island are interlinked and interdependent. The delivery of public services is restricted and inefficient."
* Source: The Belfast Telegraph
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