After the debacle on Saturday morning’s failed headline, Jim Dee confirms that all party talks are pretty much irrelevant to further progress. The twin delivery of Police reform and IRA disarmament is the only live game in town.
Sinn Fein bitterly denied Saturday’s high level speculation that the IRA were on the verge of full disarmament. It is not yet clear what led to the Guardian’s precipitous claim, but it has probably made the conditions for Sinn Fein’s political re-engagement more crystalline than at any point in the process up to now. Jim Cusack on Unionist reaction:
“Unionists made it abundantly clear last week that they will accept nothing less than IRA disbandment if Sinn Fein is to be allowed back into government in the North. Both the DUP deputy leader, Peter Robinson, and Ulster Unionist MP Geoffrey Donaldson, demanded that the IRA be ‘stood down’.”