Ruairi O Bradaigh, the President of Republican Sinn Féin, has said the St Andrews document “will not be a final settlement between Ireland and England because it does not address the historic Irish Question, ie the issue of the presence of the British government in Ireland”.
Mr O Bradaigh said if control of “policing” was to be ceded to the Belfast Assembly, it would only cover ordinary offences such as traffic infringements.
“The British government will retain control of security through the MI5, for which a huge headquarters is at present being built in the greater Belfast area,” he said.
“As Republican Sinn Féin has reiterated since 1986, the Provos are being dragged into the British net gradually. Their total immersion into the English system in Ireland is now almost complete and they may soon return to Stormont to administer British rule here.
“The result of today’s talks may well be Mr Blair’s and Mr Ahern’s ‘final settlement’ but Irish history teaches us that there will be no permanent peace here short of total British government disengagement from this country.
* Republican hardliners are being blamed for two arson attacks on large British retail outlets in north Belfast and Coleraine, County Derry.
The attacks appeared timed to coincide with the talks taking place in Scotland last week.
The B&Q store in Newtownabbey sustained smoke and water damage after an incendiary device ignited on Saturday night.
Sprinklers contained the fire until firefighters arrived at the premises on Mill Road.
The attack came just a week after an incendiary device started a fire at another B&Q branch in Coleraine.