Ireland and United Kingdom (Relations)

– in the House of Commons at 4:21 pm on 15th February 1988.

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Photo of Mr Alex Carlile Mr Alex Carlile , Montgomery 4:21 pm, 15th February 1988

I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 20, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely, relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland following the talks between the Prime Minister and Mr. Haughey". The specificity of the subject speaks for itself. There has been a clear breakdown of understanding between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Its importance is all too obvious. It affects nothing less than the security of the realm. It deals with relations between the United Kingdom and its closest neighbour. It concerns the enforcement of the law within the United Kingdom and mutual law enforcement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, dealing with such important matters as terrorism.

In my submission, the matter is urgent on two grounds: first, because of recent reaction to the Sampson-Stalker report and the very limited reaction to that of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; and, secondly, the very recent meeting between the Prime Minister and Mr. Haughey and the frost that clearly grew on the walls of that meeting room. The House needs a debate on that issue. Although we heard from the Prime Minister during her statement that there would be a statement very soon from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic, a statement is not an opportunity to discuss such an important issue. It is for that reason that I make an application under Standing Order No. 20 and am not willing to wait for a statement. In other words, this is an important matter that requires discussion and not simply a series of questions.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

The hon. and learned Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely, relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland following the talks between the Prime Minister and Mr. Haughey". I have listened with care to what the hon. and learned Gentleman has said. I listened also to exchanges on the statement that the Prime Minister has just made. I regret that I do not consider the matter that the hon. and learned Gentleman has raised as being appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 20 and I cannot, therefore, submit his application to the House.