“informal gatherings..”

The Not-an-Executive met yesterday and it looks like we’re in for a period of administration by correspondence. Other ministers, it appears, are also having “informal gatherings” elsewhere.. with no authority to conduct any business.

Mr Robinson previously warned of “serious consequences” if yesterday’s Executive, which has not met since mid-June, did not convene. He said yesterday that the first such consequence was that the cancellation of the Executive meant that today’s meeting between the Southern and Northern Ministers for Agriculture Brendan Smith and Sinn Féin’s Michelle Gildernew could not take place under the official aegis of the ministerial council in Ballyconnell.

The two Ministers and Minister for Rural Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív will instead hold a trilateral meeting in Ballyconnell. This will not have ministerial council status as such meetings must be authorised by the Executive and involve a nationalist and unionist Minister from the North. Mr Robinson said if Sinn Féin’s boycott continued then a scheduled full North-South Ministerial Council meeting early next month and a British-Irish Council meeting next week would be cancelled.