Former special adviser in unprecedented comment talks 'tactics' - The Irish News
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Former special adviser in unprecedented comment talks 'tactics'

Former DUP special adviser Richard Bullick, has commented on the ongoing Stormont negotiations. Picture by Mal McCann

Former DUP special adviser Richard Bullick, has accused members of the main political parties of delaying any agreement on the restoration of Stormont by "appearing on the media more often than in talks".

In an unprecedented public comment, Arlene Foster's former adviser referred to "tactics" being used in the lead up to the June 29 negotiating deadline.

A political advisor for more than 15-years, first to Peter Robinson and later Arlene Foster, Mr Bullick was involved in numerous political negotiations between the Northern Ireland political parties and successive British governments.

Posting on his personal Twitter account yesterday he said; "With less than two weeks to the latest Stormont talks deadline it might be useful to reflect on the lessons from negotiations"... "here's just a few tactics I've seen by various players".

"Enter negotiations with wholly unrealistic demands until negotiations reach climax then increase demands.

"Wrong-foot opponents by pretending to act irrationally. Double down on strategy by actually acting irrationally

"When deal finally done agree that things will be different in the future and things really have changed.

"Add to demands at regular intervals by adopting other parties demands and passing them off as your own.

"Deny that final agreement could have been done in a few hours and ignore the fact that long standing red lines have been breached", he added.

While no longer an employee of the DUP, Mr Bullick is thought to still have considerable insight into the party's thinking.

In a direct criticism of the British government's negotiating tactics in Northern Ireland Mr Bullick, who currently works in public relations, made mention of the continuing moving of deadlines in relation to talks.

"Claim there is no more money then present 'generous' financial package with little or no actual new money – hope no one notices

"Set deadline, break deadline, claim next deadline really is deadline, repeat as often as necessary", he said.

"Present financial asks in appropriate format – handwritten, on jotter page.

"Keep other parties negotiators busy while conducting real negotiations at another venue altogether", he added.

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