Trimble's Statement: 'We are in effect now putting the sequence on hold'

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The Independent Online

As you will have known, our position with regard to whether we would decide to support the re-formation of an administration and an executive was that we'd hear what people said, we'd see what they did and then we'd make a decision.

There had, before this morning, been agreement on a sequence of events which were to unfold in the course of the day. The sequence was to begin with statements from republicans and we had that - a speech from Mr Adams which was endorsed by the IRA.

The speech was good, there were good things in it ... very good things in it and we were encouraged by that.

Then we were expecting to have a report from General de Chastelain on transparent acts of decommissioning. And there was clear agreement between us and the republicans we were talking to that there should be greater transparency, and we had made it very clear to the governments and General de Chastelain that what we needed was a transparent report of major acts of decommissioning of a nature which would have a significant impact on public opinion and demonstrate that we were in a different context.

Unfortunately we have not had that. We have not had that at all.

There may possibly have been those substantial acts of decommissioning but we have not had the transparency or an adequate report.

Under the agreed sequence the next step would have been a number of statements from myself about our desire to see the administration reformed and our willingness to enter the administration again. And everybody knows about our desire in this respect and everybody knows how hard we have worked over the last number of weeks in order to have meaningful elections to an Assembly that would form an administration.

As a result of what the [decommissioning body] has done we probably have less confidence in the process than we had an hour ago. Because of that I regret that I am not in a position to make those statements.

We are in effect now putting the sequence on hold. And what we will do is make arrangements to consult the party.

This will give republicans who foolishly imposed obligations of confidentiality on the [decommissioning body] the opportunity to repair the damage that has been done to the process this afternoon. I hope that opportunity is taken and we will consequently be able to resume the sequence which has now been put on hold.