David Ford said: “Progress on devolving policing and justice is steady. The budgetary work is almost complete and the main stumbling blocks regarding hearing loss claims, legal aid, equal pay and pensions look close to being resolved.
“We again stressed the need to agree a strong and coherent policy programme for the new Department. When devolution occurs it must not be hampered by the problems of party disagreements that have haunted the Education and Health Ministries.
“This was a cordial and constructive meeting. Alliance now wants to see more debate on policy in the coming days and weeks.”