“I just think people are losing the will to go on. This place isn’t working and won’t work. People are thinking post Assembly careers right now.” These are the stark views of a senior DUP insider. The message emanating from inside Sinn Fein is correspondingly as black. One senior figure warned: “Without a breakthrough this place will come down in the New Year.”Gregory Campbell of the DUP has really put the cat among the pigeons. Asked when the transfer of policing and justice powers might happen, he said:
“We don’t know. We are still working through the necessary issues that will contribute to community confidence. We have got to work at the conditions that make up the community confidence and whether we get them in six weeks, six months or six years – That is the time policing and justice will be transferred.
A senior civil servant said the most the Prime Ministers can say is: “We want the devolution of policing and justice powers by such a date. They cannot do anything to force this to happen.”