Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Shaun Woodward, MP, faced questions in the House of Commons today about extending the decommissioning deadline to February 2010. BBC report here. Hansard records the exchanges. He initially states “I am slightly hesitant to say this, but I use my words very precisely and carefullythat the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning has confirmed to me that it is currently making meaningful progress, and I hope to report to the House in future on that progress?”, and later
As I have said to the House, given the very specific advice I am being given by the commission that it is currently engaged in meaningful dialogue that will result in weapons being removed from the streets, if that is our goal, it would be very foolish of me to ignore that strong advice.