Henry McDonald says that the government is ready to offer Sinn Fein a deal, in which former prisoners will be allowed to sit on the district policing boards, if they take their seats on the central board, giving their approval to the PSNI as the legitimate police force in the North for the first time.
But there are signs that if this move were attempted without substantial moves towards IRA disbandment, Unionists would simply walk out of the central board.
However, it is likely that these messages are little more than straws in the wind at this early stage of negotiations. According to Chris Thornton, while Sinn Fein have welcomed new legislation, they have as yet no plans to join the central board.
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