Arlene Foster nega la fattibilità di un qualsiasi accordo ‘sotto costrizione’

Devolution sì, devolution no… I repubblicani vorrebbero approfittare dell’attuale confusione alla guida di Stormont per premere sull’accelaratore della devolution, mentre l’ala unionista non vuole cedere.
Rivali politici e lo stesso Segretario di Stato Shaun Woodward, sono stati esortati ad evitare dichiarazioni che potrebbero rendere più difficile un accordo.
Si specula sul fatto che il pensiero principale del DUP non sia quello di desistere dalle pressioni sul raggiungimento dell’accordo sul trasferimento di poteri, quanto piuttosto sia il garantire un accordo con il Sinn Fein per evitare il collasso dell’Assembly e le elezioni anticipate.
In vista dell’incontro tra i capi di governo inglese e irlandese previsto per domani, Woodward ha dichiarato che “E ‘un momento molto importante per tutti gli unionisti per rendersi conto che è giunto il momento di completare la devolution. C’è un urgente motivo per cui questa debba essere affrontata in questi prossimi giorni e settimane”.
E proprio Gerry Kelly ha ritenuto opportuno esortare il Segretario di Stato a stare al ‘proprio posto’. “Lui e il governo britannico devono ricordarsi che sono i garanti di alcuni degli obblighi sanciti dal Good Friday Agreement e dall’accordo di St Andrews, e magari dovrebbero badare a quelli che che sono i loro obblighi e ci lasciano provare a trovare una soluzione”.

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No devolution ‘under duress’ – DUP (U TV)
As political discussions over policing and justice devolution continue, acting First Minister Arlene Foster has said there will be no deal ‘under duress’.
It comes after a warning from Ulster Unionist leader leader Sir Reg Empey, made ahead of his meeting with the Prime Minister in London on Wednesday afternoon.
The DUP is in talks with republicans who are demanding a swift transfer of the law and order powers.
With speculation that a deal could be possible, rival politicians and even Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, have been warned to avoid comments that might make agreement more difficult.
The DUP’s under-pressure leader Peter Robinson has stepped down temporarily as First Minister over the scandal surrounding his wife Iris, who was revealed as having lobbied property developers for cash to set up a business for her teenage lover.
There are claims the party, which had previously said it would not be rushed by republican pressure for agreement, is now focused on securing a deal with Sinn Fein to avoid a collapse of the Assembly and the threat of a snap election.
But with the British and Irish governments due to meet in London on Thursday to discuss political progress, Mr Woodward said: “It’s a very important time for all unionists to realise that now is the time to complete devolution.
“There is an urgency which is why this needs to be addressed in these coming days and weeks.”
The Secretary of State said final agreement was a matter for the Northern Ireland parties.
But Sinn Fein junior minister Gerry Kelly urged against any comments that might unsettle the negotiations and claimed he had warned Mr Woodward against commenting publicly.
“I had a meeting with Shaun Woodward yesterday and what I told him was that sometimes they are better not doing publicity,” he said.
“He and the British Government need to remember they are the guarantors of some of the obligations of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement, and maybe they want to keep their eye to what their obligations are and leave us to try and sort this out.
“He doesn’t always have to have a soundbite.”
Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said he could not be expected to rubber-stamp a deal brokered without his involvement and warned against the DUP making agreements “under duress”.
But Alliance leader David Ford, whose centre ground party is expected to take responsibility for a new justice ministry to be set up after devolution, attacked Sir Reg’s comments.
“While Alliance is working constructively to protect the peace process, the UUP seems intent on taking a hammer to it in a pathetic attempt to appear strong,” he said.
“I believe that Reg’s attitude is putting the short-term interests of the Ulster Unionists ahead of stability of our society.”
Mr Ford could hold talks on Wednesday with the DUP’s Arlene Foster, who has stepped in to fill Mr Robinson’s shoes as acting First Minister.
Mr Robinson did not attend the DUP/Sinn Fein talks at Stormont`s Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, but is said to be in contact with colleagues and could rejoin his negotiating team over the next three days.
Leader of the hardline TUV Jim Allister, who opposes agreement with republicans and has already damaged the DUP at the polls, predicted his rivals were set to agree a deal in a bid to avoid a facing the voters after the Iris Robinson affair.
“Sadly, the DUP, petrified of an election, is preparing to put party before country by surrendering to Sinn Fein’s key `Brits out` demand over policing and justice,” he said.
“In their last parliamentary manifesto they made its strategic importance to the republican movement very clear.
“No unionist should be delivering the Sinn Fein agenda.”


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