Friday, December 4, 2009

Shaun Woodward 'confident' on Northern Ireland policing handover

Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said he remained ''confident'' that a deal would be reached on the handover of policing and justice powers to the Stormont executive.



Woodward, the Northern Ireland Secretary Photo: EDDIE MULHOLLAND
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister, has warned that the province is facing a ''full-blown crisis'' unless there is an agreement in place by Christmas.

Sinn Fein has accused the Democratic Unionists (DUP), led by First Minister Peter Robinson, of stalling on a deal which would see control over law and order powers pass from Westminster to Northern Ireland politicians - including republicans.

The DUP, in turn, has accused Sinn Fein of ''sabre-rattling'' and warned against the setting of ''arbitrary deadlines''.

Mr Woodward insisted that ''real progress'' was being made towards an agreement.

''I think that in the coming weeks it will be possible to achieve these last parts of the package that will allow devolution to go through for policing and justice,'' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

''I am confident that the political leaders in Northern Ireland will manage to find an agreement.''

Source: telegraph.co.uk/

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