The recent outages [hopefully soon to be resolved – Ed] have resulted in a few missed posts. On Tuesday Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain met the Irish Minister for foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern and issued another statement on the timetable, as reported by the BBC.
“We are awaiting the results of the parties’ consultations and we expect them to come back and say they support the St Andrews Agreement by the 10 November.[added emphasis]
“If the answer is yes, then we will prepare the necessary legislation for introduction to parliament in the week starting 20 November.
“If the answer is no, then the parties all know the consequences, which is that the assembly will be dissolved for who knows how many years to come.”
While I’ve outlined just what it is that the parties will be agreeing to previously [link will appear when we get back to Kansas – Ed], here’s a quick reminder[pdf file]
6. We believe that the essential elements of support for law and order include endorsing fully the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the criminal justice system, actively encouraging everyone in the community to co-operate fully with the PSNI in tackling crime in all areas and actively supporting all the policing and criminal justice institutions, including the Policing Board.[added emphasis]
And, just in case anyone is in any doubt about that, the Joint Communiqué from the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference repeated that same point
The two Governments paid tribute to the work of the political parties at St. Andrews and welcomed the major progress made to clear the way to restoration of the power-sharing institutions. They reiterated their belief that all parties should be able to endorse the St. Andrews Agreement and to implement it in good faith, building the trust and confidence necessary for a stable and lasting settlement. They also restated their position, as set out at St. Andrews, that support for policing and the rule of law should be extended to every part of the community; and that such support includes endorsing the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the criminal justice system, encouraging the community to co-operate with the police in tackling crime, and actively supporting all the policing and criminal justice institutions, including the Policing Board.[added emphasis]
10th November.. [can you hear a ticking sound? – Ed]