Alex Kane: Tough to avoid conclusion that NI peace process drawing to a close
David Trimble’s ‘constructive ambiguity’ on North has morphed into destructive clarity
Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin and Arlene Foster of the DUP: “We have ongoing conflict stalemate rather than conflict resolution, and how could it be otherwise when we don’t agree on the constitutional future?” File photographs: Getty Images
It’s now 20 years since David Trimble - and two minor unionist parties - entered the talks process that led to the Belfast Agreement. Everyone was prepared for the agreement to take a few years to bed down; indeed, Trimble highlighted the “constructive ambiguity” required to keep all sides on board.
And even though they knew there would be difficulties along the way, there was still a general optimism that time would result in the building of trust, followed by broader co-operation.