Policing deal talks will 'define politics in North'
CRUNCH talks to devolve policing powers to Northern Ireland will define politics in the region for years to come, the man tipped to be Stormont's new justice minister said yesterday.
Alliance Party leader David Ford said an agreement on the transfer of law and order responsibilities from Westminster would bring much needed stability to the power-sharing institutions and the region as a whole.
Mr Ford, who is heir apparent to the new ministry because he is seen as the only candidate that could command cross-community support, stressed the importance of achieving a deal as Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionists continued marathon negotiations inside Stormont Castle.
The two main parties in the Executive have been locked in exchanges throughout the week amid speculation a breakthrough is imminent.
"I believe that the coming days will define politics in Northern Ireland for years to come," said Mr Ford.
"Northern Ireland needs stability -- we need a genuinely shared future and a new Department of Justice with agreed policies which allow it to deliver for everyone from day one," he added.