And here comes the brickbats…

Since any effective long term decision by ‘the committee’ now rests upon arriving at a ‘consensus’ the DUP have effectively disarmed it from endangering its current negotiating position, or undoing any private understandings with the governments in the past. Alisdair McDonnell is not happy for one:

“We have warned the Secretary of State that there is little point in a committee if the real action is going to be elsewhere,” the South Belfast MP said.

“There is little point in all parties working the committee if the British Government is going to be negotiating side deals with the DUP behind everybody`s back – like the over 100 secret deals they gave the DUP with the December 2004 Comprehensive Agreement.

“We are disturbed at the manner in which Secretary of State pandered to the DUP yesterday by assuring them that negotiations would not be in the committee – but would be with the governments instead.”

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