THE Ulster Unionist Leader has today warned that the DUP and Sinn Féin appear to be preparing for the Haass talks to recommend a return to the ill-fated 2010 proposals for Parades.
Mike Nesbitt MLA says this appears the outcome following the First Minister’s answer to a question by the UUP leader which highlighted the £4.5 million budget that has been set aside by OFMdFM for a body to replace the Parades Commission.
Reacting to Peter Robinson’s answer to his question at OFMdFM Question Time, Mr Nesbitt said: “I pointed out to the First Minister the budget line for a body called the ‘Public Assemblies, Parades and Protest Body’and asked what this was about.
“Peter Robinson made clear that this was part of his preparation for the outcome of the Haass talks.
“This is the name of the body that was proposed by the DUP and Sinn Féin when they took it upon themselves to sort out parading after the 2010 Hillsborough negotiations saw the devolution of policing and justice powers to the NI Assembly.
“These proposals were flawed, and rejected by many, including the Orange Order, who entered the current Haass talks explicitly warning the solution to parades was not a return to the 2010 proposals.
“The First Minister’s admission that he has budgeted for this outcome should be a warning bell for all who wish to see an open engagement on the three issues under Dr Haass’s remit. Pre-determined outcomes will simply not command the necessary support.”
US Diplomat Richard Haass has been parachuted into Northern Ireland in an effort to resolve the political row over parades, flags and dealing with the past.
Dr Haass is hoping to come up with some breakthrough in the dispute before Christmas.