“A step of unparalleled magnitude,” is how Britain’s prime minister has described the IRA’s move to end its armed campaign. Tony Blair said he welcomed the recognition that the only route to political change lies in purely peaceful and democratic means. He said that the move created the circumstances in which the Northern Ireland power-sharing institutions can be revived. “Unionists will want to know that the circumstances are permanent and verified. But if they are, then proper, devolved democratic government should be restored to Northern Ireland,” he remarked. Blair cautioned that words would now have to be backed by deeds, and that the decommissioning process had to be transparent.