Focus switches to Blair

Today’s expected statement from the British Prime Minister is not expected to end the on-going crisis in the political process. It looks like Blair will offer a tightening of the criteria of what constitutes a breach of the ceasefire. It is not clear whether he will commit himself to specific sanctions. Brian Walker is decidedly upbeat! Though he adds as a coda:

“But what if the parties don’t play? If the UUP, with or without Trimble, and the DUP reject it out of hand? If Chilcott concludes that it was the IRA who carried out the Castlereagh raid? If it was clear the Assembly couldn’t deliver cross-community support at the crucial moment? We face the crisis then. But the high tension in the streets gives all parties the chance to show their sense of responsibility.”

Closer to the ground Alex Maskey is making an intervention to bring community leaders together to prevent further disorder on the streets of North Belfast.

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