Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Sunday, 4 October 2009 11:41 UK

'No justice move pre-Christmas'

Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson has ruled out the transfer of powers before Christmas

The devolution of policing and justice will not happen before Christmas, according to First Minister Peter Robinson.

The DUP leader was speaking to The Politics Show ahead of a crunch meeting with the Prime Minister at Stormont on Monday.

He said even if a deal was reached with Gordon Brown the powers could not be devolved in that time frame.

Mr Robinson said legislation still had to be put through the Assembly.

"I thought it might have been a possibility to do it before the European election, but clearly even if I was to agree to the devolution of policing and justice today, it couldn't be done before Christmas," he said.

"Because the reality is there is further legislation to go through the Assembly.

"There is even a bill going through the Assembly at the present time and there are other processes."

Gordon Brown is expected to meet local party leaders at Stormont during his visit on Monday.

Secretary of State Shaun Woodward has said US firms are poised to invest in Northern Ireland once a deal on justice and policing is agreed.

He said the transfer of these powers was "the final part of the jigsaw".

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