The former Ulster Unionist Party leader DAVID TRIMBLE shares an extensive recollection of the run-up to the talks that culminated in the Belfast Agreement on April 10 1998, which was Good Friday Because the ground rules for the talks, including sufficient consensus [rather than unanimity], had already been agreed, when republicans accepted the [Mitchell principles on peace and democracy] they were binding themselves to accept the outcome of a process in which they had no veto. The SDLP were then the majority party within nationalism. If we obtained their agreement, we could then do a deal which Sinn Fein would have to accept. This is why there was no need for me to ever actually to talk to them. It is understandable therefore that the republican leadership’s endorsement of this led to a major split within the republican movement. The months after Sinn Fein entered the talks were not productive. The talks broke up on 16 December for Christmas without being able to agree to an agenda. Unknown to the public and most talks participants, Tony Blair had started to take a direct interest well before the Christmas recess. Bits of paper reached us from Downing Street with words outlining… Read full this story
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1998 deal: David Trimble – ‘By the Thursday we had a satisfactory position on constitutional matters’ have 326 words, post on www.newsletter.co.uk at April 10, 2018. This is cached page on wBird. If you want remove this page, please contact us.