No support without influence

That was the message from Sinn Féin's Policing and Justice spokesperson Gerry Kelly. He was reacting to claims from the DUP that the devolution of Policing and Justice powers would not happen within two years of the restoration of devolution.

According to Nigel Dodds it would take longer for unionists to trust Sinn Fein to take responsibility for security.

"It is certainly not a target date for us. As far as we are concerned, there will be no devolution of policing and justice for a very long time. I have no evidence whatsoever to suggest that that is likely to happen within a political lifetime."

Gerry Kelly responded by saying that it was "crazy" for the DUP to ask his party to sign up to policing and justice and then deny them any influence on the issue for years to come.

"They should not be able to demand that Nationalists sign up to this issue of policing and justice and then say that you won't have any influence on it for a generation,"

This is one of the reasons why I will be rejecting the St Andrews proposals, in their current form, as it has an inbuilt Unionist veto on Policing and Justice powers.

Let's be quite clear that while the DUP would like to get its hands on these powers they are more than happy to live with the status quo.

This is not a situtation that will be tolerated by Republicans, the status quo is not an option.

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