Despite the ups and downs of the media coverage the sage old Economist London paper The Economist betrays a quiet confidence in the current negotiations.”The sticking point has been the decommissioning of IRA weapons. The IRA failed three times to satisfy Mr Trimble that it was giving them up. But it is inactive these days. It was responsible for none of the four paramilitary murders in Northern Ireland this year. Its quiescence may have something to do with the political success of Sinn Fein, which has done well both sides of the border.
“Irish politics adds to the incentive to disarm: Sinn Fein could soon be part of a coalition government, but Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister, has said that he will not ally with it until the IRA decommissions. If things continue well for Sinn Fein it could soon be the only British party sitting in four parliaments: in Belfast, Dublin, London and Brussels”.