Despite the apparent kerfuffle over only seeing the legislation at the last Northern Ireland Executive meeting, the NI First and deputy First Ministers managed to meet jointly with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown today. Unlike last time. Despite stressing the urgency of resolving the devolution of justice powers to BBC NI’s Stephen Walker previously, in his comments in Downing Street afterwards, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness was trying to suggest that he might turn down whatever offer Gordon Brown makes in the autumn.. Those quotes didn’t make the PA report. But from UTV’s uPlayer [available for 30 days]
“We have made it clear that we need to see him put an offer to us and I’m satisfied, as a result of today’s discussions, that we’re going to get a very concrete offer. Whether or not it’s an acceptable offer remains to be seen.”
Of course, accepting that offer remains a matter for agreement between Sinn Féin and the DUP. As you well know.. And then there are a few other steps to take. But will “certain accounting and other powers” be left with the treasury? And will any offer “only cover a period of one year”? It is some bill, after all.