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Transfer of power on Policing and Justice critical

6 January, 2006

Commenting on reports that the British government was preparing to introduce an enabling bill for the transfer of powers on Policing and Justice, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the issue Gerry Kelly said:

Mr Kelly said :

" The reports that an enabling bill for the transfer of power on policing and justice is to be introduced to Westminster is a welcome first step. Publicly and in meetings with the British government Sinn Féin have been pushing strongly for the transfer of powers on policing and justice away from London.

" In negotiations with Sinn Féin in December 2004 the British government agreed to introduce this framework legislation as a first step. However the important detail of the powers to be transferred, what the best departmental model is and the timeframe involved are all issues which need to be worked out as a matter of urgency. The DUP amongst others need to be ready to discuss the detail on transfer as a core issue in setting up the interdependent political institutions agreed under the Good Friday Agreement.

" Delays in dialogue need to cease and the DUP need to engage in the inevitable negotiations on these important matters now." ENDS

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