Gerry Adams has been allowed to fill the vacuum at the heart of the talks

Only the most basic information has emerged so far  out of the set piece statements from the  parties. Arlene Foster’s offer of a return to the Executive “without pre-conditions” and do sensible things like passing the budget  was never going to be enough to draw in Sinn Fein, whose  whole position was all about setting conditions. If she was ever going to give satisfaction on matching Sinn Fein’s  unmanageably long list of demands, why not give  some specific declarations of …

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