The focus of talks to save Stormont — and finalise a deal on the transfer of policing and justice powers — is narrowing, senior sources have disclosed.
And there are increasing indications that closure of the negotiations could be achieved by the end of this week, even if it takes longer for the detail of the agreement to be made public.
However, a senior DUP figure insisted last night his party would not be rushed. East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said a timescale was less important than securing community confidence in the move.
“It doesn't matter what the time is, it doesn't matter if it's tomorrow or in a decade — the important thing is to get the conditions.”
Sinn Fein and the DUP are in virtual ‘shut down’ mode in terms of providing information for the media.
But, for the most part, the signals emerging from Stormont Castle are positive. Signals have also been given that the other main parties — Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and Alliance — will become more involved in the talks at Stormont Castle this week, which could delay an overall conclusion.
* Source: The Belfast Telegraph