This chapter deals with the aftermath of the collapse of power-sharing and the Labour government’s attempts to produce an entirely new constitutional approach. To many at the time, British policy for the remainder of 1974 was frustratingly static, both on the political front and in dealing with paramilitary violence. Though the period might be characterised as one of drift, significant developments occurred behind closed doors. Plans were developed for an expected Provisional IRA ceasefire and the Gardiner commission produced its report, identifying many of the key changes that would follow and supporting Rees in his desire for a security policy which moved away from detention without trial and placed greater emphasis on the police. Rees also declared his plan for a constitutional convention in which politicians in Northern Ireland would be given the task of seeking an agreement without imposition from Dublin or London.
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