Trimble comes out with a victory to hand his party on 21st September, the Police Reserves are to stay. Blair pledges his backing for the Police Service. David Ford of the Alliance party renews his support for an independent ceasefire monitor, saying:
“There is an assumption that uncomfortable truths are being swept under the carpet for the sake of political expediency. Progress has been made on this issue. The Government seems to have accepted the need for some type of independent reporting mechanism.”
But both Sinn Fein and the IRA remain opposed to such a move. Mitchell McLaughlin explained his party’s objection:
“Introducing such an audit would “keep the paramilitaries centre stage” instead of putting the emphasis on the day-to-day basis with political representatives, he said. “I think they (peace agreement arrangements) are working.”
Nevertheless, the calls for Sinn Fein to join the policing board continue. And it seems it’s top of the agenda in most private, bilateral, talks between the parties and the British and Irish premiers.