Decommisioning: proof or humiliation?

Yes, the wrangling goes on. Neither the DUP nor Sinn Fein show any signs of being impressed by the latest tranche of deadlines to make a deal. The key sticking point (at the moment) is over the degree of proof required by Unionists that the IRA has done what it claims to have done.

Speculation in the past that Blair’s premiership difficulties over the war in Iraq, might quicken his appetite for an early deal seems to have been over stated. An early deal is certainly do-able particularly if Doctor Paisley sanctions it. But no one seriously doubts the patience of the folk at Dundela Avenue matches those in Sevastopol Street. It could be 2006 before the deal is finally done!

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