British PM Gordon Brown meets Robinson and McGuinness in Stormont
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinnes to discuss the impasse over the devolution of justice and police issues from London to Belfast.
Brown met DUP First Minister Robinson and Sinn Fein Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister McGuinness and assured them that the devolution of justice and policing issues would not fail because of anything to do with money from the British Government.
The DUP wants to be assured that London will come up with the £600 million ($957m) that it will cost to fund the transfer.
Though it is primarily the funding that is causing the delay, Sinn Fein allege that there is also an element in the DUP that still distrusts working and power-sharing with them.
The devolution would give real credence to Stormont administration and possibly save the power-sharing government.
With the election in Westminster next year, the action of all parties will be scrutinized. If Brown can deliver the deal it would be a major accomplishment for him and his party.
The DUP and Sinn Fein are also treading carefully as they get ready for the same election. Sinn Fein has long argued that the devolution of justice and police matters is the only way to get Catholics to fully support the policing system in Northern Ireland.
"If the British Government really want this in place ... they will come up with the money. Gordon Brown has reiterated that this will not fail because of money. He said he was determined to deliver," McGuinness said after the talks today.
"We are very rapidly approaching make-your-mind-up time. In terms of the financial situation, we are moving forward, I think, fairly decisively," he continued.
Robinson denied there was an element in his party that did not want the devolution to work, and said that he was still confident a deal could be done as long as there was full funding from London.
"I am prepared and can work with anybody who has the same goals, which are to make the Assembly and Executive work for the benefit of Northern Ireland. I was not elected to be a buddy for Martin McGuinness, I was elected to work with him and that is why I am here," said Robinson.
"We are calm, we are behaving rationally, we are working through the issues, we are not getting excited."
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