BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Sunday, 8 October, 2000, 02:56 GMT 03:56 UK
British-Irish body meets

Body will meet against backdrop of Stormont uncertainty
Ministers from the British and Irish parliaments are attending the 21st meeting of the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body.

The plenary session of the meeting is being held in Galway, for three days from Sunday.

The meetings are being held against a backdrop of political uncertainty in Northern Ireland.

At his party conference in Belfast on Saturday, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble suggested he may review co-operation with the cross border bodies set up under the Good Friday Agreement peace accord, unless republicans deliver IRA disarmament before Christmas.

In his conference address, the Northern Ireland First Minister attacked dissidents in his party, who have been putting pressure on him to withdraw from the Northern Ireland power-sharing executive if republicans do not disarm.

Mr Trimble said that he would not turn away from the agreement, but he indicated that he may be prepared to step back from full co-operation with the North-South Ministerial Council.


Trouble for David Trimble could spell end to powersharing
"We are looking carefully at each aspect of our participation under the agreement," he said.

"Hitherto we have worked pro-actively in the North South Council. I see that being more problematic now."

The Ulster Unionist leader is expected to face, if not a challenge to his leadership, then a challenge to his policy of continuing in the Stormont executive, at a meeting of his party's ruling Ulster Unionist Council.

UUP dissidents have collected the 60 signatures necessary to call a meeting of the 860-member body, and this could be held within a few weeks.

The Inter-Parliamentary Body was set up before the agreement on which Northern Ireland devolution was based was signed.

But it is likely it will view the threat to the Northern Ireland executive with concern.

Comprising 25 members each from the Westminster and Dublin parliaments, it has met twice a year for the past decade after being formed to improve political links between Britain and Ireland.

When it last met in London in February, the assembly executive had been suspended because of the refusal of the Ulster Unionists to continue power sharing while the IRA refused to hand over its arms.

The assembly executive was not reinstated until June.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

Analysis

Background

Profiles

SPECIAL REPORTS
See also:

07 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Trimble comes out fighting
02 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Trimble may face 'no confidence' vote
29 Sep 00 | Northern Ireland
Are the knives out for David Trimble?
19 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Unionist quits poll contest
29 Apr 00 | Northern Ireland
Unionist dilemma over South Antrim seat
15 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
UUP chief whip denied candidacy
16 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Ulster Unionist candidacy row
05 Oct 00 | Northern Ireland
Trimble faces two pronged attack
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories