There is much to be done..

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.

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  • Louie

    What the NIO haven’t announced on their public website is that following devolution, the department is being reconfigured as the ‘Justice’ ministry and all staff will lose their monthly allowance of £30, currently paid to acknowledge the (admittedly small) risk factor of working in its agencies. Not an inconsiderable amount of money to the lower-paid staff, many of whom are earning less than £200 a week.

  • JR

    If there is no obvious threat then they don’t deserve the payment. Why do people in the North Of Ireland expect something for nothing. I’m fed up with the sponging attitute we have.

  • Corkonian

    I’m confused. In his Irish Times column David Adams talks as though the parties were supposed to either support the St Andrews Agreement by today or the governments would pull the plug. But others are talking about November 24 as the deadline. Which is it?

  • Yokel

    3. It’s anything the British government want it to be since they really rule the roost on this. It could ed up being another date.

  • Greenflag

    ‘I’m confused.’

    It’s a natural condition for those subjected to the ‘mushroom’ treatment 🙂

    See the rabbit -See the hat . See the rabbit go into the hat . Look now ?

    No rabbit .

    There never was a rabbit even if Houdini Hain said there was .

  • Greenflag

    Pete,

    ‘the most obvious point to make is that the statement doesn’t say whether parties actually said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ‘

    Well observed . Nor does it mention the qualified maybes and their added on pre conditions of both parties ?

    Peter Hain has cried Wolf too often . His pair of deuces is now being called by the dunces .

  • Nevin

    “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.”

    So an ‘agreement’ by the two governments that has not been endorsed by the local parties or been put to the electorate in a 1998-style referendum will be the basis for new legislation?

  • voyager

    Corkonian
    Davy Adams is right. According to the agreement and statements afterwards by Hain and D Ahern the deal was sign up by today or the shutters come down.
    For anybody with Irish Times subscription, its a good column, doesn’t miss and hit the wall.

  • Pete Baker

    Corkonian

    While Davy Adams is correct on the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ nature of the original question – as indicated by the link in the original post – the question appears to have mutated since that moment in time to allow for the current ambiguity.

    Davy Adams also seems to have confused his committees – perhaps not unsurprisingly – the Preparation for Government Committee, which has been meeting, with the Programme for Government Committee, which has not.

  • voyager

    Pete Baker
    Yes I noticed that about the committee mix up, but as you say not surprisingly.
    Though the point on the gradual mutation of government deadlines and threats into ambiguity is what he is actually complaining about.