After the second day of Northern Ireland devolution talks, an agreement still seems far off while the deadline is fast approaching. Expressing his frustration, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has turned up the pressure on the negotiators.
Alongside his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern, Blair said if a deal cannot be reached he will put one on the table and then the two parties will have to decide.
The pro-British Unionists and pro-Irish Republicans are said to be reluctant to move on two key issues: the province’s police force and the make-up of the power sharing government. Pro-British hardliner Ian Paisely of the Democratic Unionists wants catholic Sinn Fein to accept the police force.