The Newsletter has more on the DUP’s forthcoming pamphlet on how some form of devolved institutions might be returned short of executive power sharing.Stephen Dempster:
Facing Reality begins by putting the current unionist position in context – explaining why an all-inclusive power-sharing executive is a non-runner for the time being. It then goes on to outline a two-stage approach to moving forward.
Stage one deals with a range of possible options, while devolved government is unattainable. These options are thought to take previous DUP policy papers and manifesto commitments as their starting point. Ideas could potentially run the gamut, from a shadow Assembly with the ability to scrutinise and consult ministers to a corporate Assembly with executive or ministerial powers.
DUP sources suggest that one option is similar in form to the Ulster Unionist’s suggestion of an Assembly with legislative and financial powers, working under direct rule ministers who run the 11 government departments. Stage two would be moving towards a power-sharing government, as and when there is sufficient cross-community support and trust.
The DUP document is said to deal with ideas for implementing stage two and devolving powers from Westminster.