PM urges 'give and take' over Haass

Published Wednesday, 18 December 2013
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Prime Minister David Cameron has urged all parties involved in the Haass talks process to show some "give and take".

PM urges 'give and take' over Haass
Dr Haass is chairman of the panel of parties involved in the talks. (© Presseye)

It comes after the first draft of the document aimed at resolving some of Northern Ireland's most contentious issues received a mixed response when it was unveiled to politicians.

Talks chairman Dr Richard Haass is spending Wednesday preparing fresh proposals on flags, parades and dealing with the past.

It is expected they will be finalised and presented to parties within the next 24 hours, with the former US Envoy confident of agreement by the end of the week.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday morning, David Cameron said he hopes all sides can show some give and take in order to move the community forward together.

Mr Cameron said: "Richard Haass is carrying out an extremely important but difficult task. I hope that everyone will try to look at this process with some give and take to try and bring the communities together."

It was in response to a question from Gregory Campbell MP who said an agreement would not be possible if the new proposals "dilute" British identity.

Mr Campbell said: "Consensus in the talks is desirable, but would be impossible to achieve if proposals re-emerge that are viewed within the unionist community as diluting the very essence of Britishness as NI seeks to strengthen its position within the UK, not weaken it."

Earlier this week the DUP rejected Dr Haass' initial proposals. It is understood they included the possibility of flying the Irish Tricolour from government buildings on certain occasions.

First Minister Peter Robinson, of the DUP, said: "If I thought this was the final paper, there would be steam coming out of my ears.

"But it is not the final paper and we still have work to do and we are up to doing that work."

Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said: "There are difficulties, we always knew there would be. We knew that this would be an intensive period. We're trying to use that intensive period to bring it to a conclusion."

It is understood the document will be amended in the new draft which will be handed over to the five main parties on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Joe in Co Down wrote (120 days ago):
Yea Mr Cameron to bring the two communities together the nationalist community and their Irishness must be recognised in any settlement. The DUP thinks its still back in the good old days when only one section, ie the Unionist community was recognised. The GFA agreement says we now share in this wee part of the Ulster province. Lets see that happen now.
Mr Nationalist in Newcastle wrote (120 days ago):
How's about the electorate decide on this? I know that representatives are named as such as they represent, but due to the 'themmuns' mentality of some of our so called leaders, they do not act on behalf of the electorate, rather themselves!
john in belfast wrote (120 days ago):
remember this Mr Haas...your country didn't like it when the British tried to take over America, you got your independence day...let the Irish people have ours.
Seanie in Ballycastle wrote (120 days ago):
It must now include the Tricolour otherwise it is out out out !
Johno in Belfast wrote (120 days ago):
Well hope it includes both traditions on the flag issue. Not right if only one section of the community is recognised.
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