Belfast Telegraph

'Pressure pot' summit can break logjam, says McNarry

By Aaron Tinney

A summit on devolution that would eat into MLAs' summer holidays is the way to solve the power-sharing impasse, David McNarry has claimed.

The former UKIP Northern Ireland leader put forward the proposal yesterday after the US State Department urged the DUP and Sinn Fein to form an "effective government" as soon as possible.

Mr McNarry said all the parties should get together in August and September for a debate under a new structure.

He added that if they could not agree a power-sharing deal by October, direct rule should be implemented.

"The DUP and Sinn Fein have drawn themselves into an unwinnable fight, with each prepared, if they cannot win, to make sure the other suffers a greater loss," Mr McNarry said.

"To that end, unattainable demands must be removed from a settlement equation.

"Rather than repeat talks failures, there is a need for a better way to circumvent the current impasse.

"I propose that, during August and September, a devolution convention is organised.

"New rules of engagement would be on a forcefully driven agenda equipped to pursue new realities in order to restore an Executive, with the consequences of non-compliance clearly indicated by the Secretary of State."

Mr McNarry - once a special advisor to former First Minister David Trimble - insisted the convention would yield results, because it would be a "pressure pot process".

He would like the summit to involve "all parties, plus interlocutors instructed by the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach".

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