Sinn Fein leaders would be required first to signal the party's abandonment of its decades-old opposition to the Northern Ireland police. Ian Paisley, in exchange, would order his Democratic Unionist party to elect himself and a senior Sinn Fein figure to be joint leaders of Northern Ireland's new administration.
This would happen Nov. 24, the date that Britain and Ireland long billed as the deadline for power-sharing to resume.
Under the new plan, however, Paisley and Sinn Fein's nominee — most likely deputy leader Martin McGuinness — would not receive any powers until March 26. The delay, Blair said, would allow Paisley's Protestant followers to be able to test whether Sinn Fein was truly supporting the police.