Sunday 11 December 2016

Deal cements real progress post peace process

Published 21/11/2015 | 02:30

From left, Theresa Villiers, David Cameron, Peter Robinson and Martin
McGuinness
From left, Theresa Villiers, David Cameron, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

A benign aspect of the peace process these days is that nothing much happens. Time passes slowly, particularly in the fallow periods when the power-sharing institutions are semi-suspended, as they have been for the last 10 weeks, to allow talks to resolve the latest political "crisis" in Northern Ireland.

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It could have been another false dawn. But for a change, Sinn Féin and the DUP, with the help of the two governments, have brokered a potentially transformative deal. In it, for once, the economy gets "box office"; a refreshing change from the logjam on welfare reform and the old quarrels over paramilitaries and "the past".

"A fresh start" may sound a tad eulogistic, particularly for victims' groups whose issues have yet again been parked unresolved for another day.

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