Northern Ireland’s politicians are facing a stark choice. They have been summoned to last ditch talks to sort out their differences or lose their chance of self rule. Britain’s Prime Minister and his Irish counterpart are hosting the marathon three-day meeting in Scotland. Northern Ireland’s five main political parties are there. But it is the mistrust between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein that could derail the process.
The DUP has refused to share power with Sinn Fein -considered the political ally of the Irish Republican Army – until all links to violence are severed. Boosting hopes for a successful summit are the findings of a recent official report that found the IRA was sticking by its peace commitments. But the pressure is on, with a deadline set for November 24. If no deal is reached, London says it will stick by its threat not to restore a currently suspended power sharing assembly.