An interesting piece in the Newsletter reporting North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey suggesting that there has been progress from a DUP viewpoint but that there are still changes to be made, more detail from the DUP website.
Much of his fire seems to have been directed at the Education minister who seems to be the chief hate figure currently for the DUP (and indeed others). Storey again shows great delight in the resignation of Gerry McHugh from SF. His comments seem less friendly towards the RoI than his party leader was during Mr. Aherns visit to Mr. Storeys constituency. Some of the remarks about competing with the RoI economy might almost have come from a different North Antrim source.
The whole tenor of the piece seems much less pro agreement than many DUP statements; the fact that it has been placed on the DUP website is also quite interesting. This may be the DUP beginning the process of setting its stall out for when the review does finally come around. However, just how much change in the agreement can really be expected from the review is unclear. Ending the mandatory coalition and DHondt and moving to a voluntary coalition without the support of the other parties will prove extremely difficult; and the other parties are unlikely to be prepared to move in the direction which Storey desires, certainly not without very considerable concessions on things which the DUP is most unlikely to want to give. Of course Storey is probably simply pointing out the things the DUP wants and its initial negotiating position ahead of the eventual review. The fact that these remarks were made shortly before the Dromore by election is, I am sure, mere coincidence.