As the parties involved in talks on the future government of Northern Ireland take part in this week's key summit in Scotland, we take a look at the key issues and players.
Sinn Fein is pushing for a deal, and is blaming the DUP for the lack of progress on devolution.
The party has a shopping list of demands, which is topped by policing. Sinn Fein has yet to sign up to policing structures, not least because it wants a devolved accountable assembly in place.
Sinn Fein is also demanding a date for the devolution of policing and justice. The party is committed to calling an ard fheis or party conference on the policing issue which could endorse a policy shift.
But this is only expected when there is the prospect of a deal. One option Sinn Fein could pursue is a proposal by the Secretary of State, Peter Hain, that it commits itself to working with the police on the ground if the political conditions are not right for signing up to the institutions.
The party has been consulting its grass roots on the policing issue
The party has been consulting its grass roots on the policing issue.
Another thorny issue is the OTR question. Sinn Fein has pressed the government to deal with republicans who are on the run from authorities.
The party leader met Prime Minister Tony Blair in Chequers last week and it was raised. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said it must be dealt with as part of a deal, but the DUP has insisted any attempt at a public or private deal on this issue is a deal breaker.
The Sinn Fein leader has said a deal is possible with the right attitude.
Republicans argue that the IRA is leaving the stage and it must no longer be used by unionists as an excuse not to share power. Sinn Fein is also pressing for direct talks with the DUP.
Sinn Fein wants the governments to stick to the deadline. Sinn Fein has said the status quo is not an option and in the absence of a deal by 24 November, the governments must press ahead with new north-south arrangements.