The statement by Secretary of State for Wales etc, Peter Hain, and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern has been released via the NIO website. Ostensibly on the parties’ responses to the St Andrews Agreement the most obvious point to make is that the statement doesn’t say whether parties actually said ‘yes’ or ‘no’The statement by Peter Hain and Dermot Ahern
When we concluded our talks at St Andrews in October we asked the parties to reflect on the agreement, to consult with their membership on the proposed way forward and to confirm their acceptance by 10 November. These consultations are now complete and the Governments have been in contact with the parties.
We are satisfied from these contacts that the St Andrews Agreement, implemented in good faith, represents the basis for a political settlement. That settlement must rest on the two foundations of support for power-sharing and the political institutions and support for policing and the rule of law. Securing these objectives remains the priority of the two Governments and of everyone in Northern Ireland.
We will now proceed to ensure full implementation of the St Andrews Agreement and the British Government will bring forward legislation to give effect to the Agreement.
There is much to be done and there is a responsibility on all to play their part. We will work actively with the parties to complete this task and clear the way for a new era for the people of Northern Ireland.