Reid hopes for a short period of suspension

The Secretary of State believes is possible to bring about an agreement fairly swiftly. There is a revealing interview with David Trimble’s election agent, George Savage:

“. many of his constituents recognised that they were part of a time of historic change. ‘Farmers have long recognised this change. They have to compete directly with farmers from other European Union countries. The assembly has given them a voice that they would not necessarily have. Milk quotas is a major concern for many farmers. We know that we have to develop a system that works for both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”

“If we don’t have the assembly and it’s dealt with by London and Dublin, we will be left out. Thirty years ago [former NI prime minister] Terrence O’Neill asked the unionist people ‘do you want change, you know that we need change’. David Trimble is asking the same and people have to recognise the new situation. We’ve got this current crisis but people here know this process isn’t going to stop. It’s going to move forward. If the people of Northern Ireland don’t take a grip, we’ll be back to direct rule.”

See also an interview with veteran Nationalist politician, Eddie McGrady:

“There’s been tangible economic benefits and a general atmosphere of enthusiasm. That in itself brings a huge dividend. And that will go with suspension. People here feel very uncomfortable, there’s a real sense of the unknown.”

Meanwhile: There was a pipe bomb thrown at a home in an Nationalist area of East Belfast last night.