Northern Ireland (Framework Documents)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 22nd February 1995.

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Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, Chair, Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament 3:31 pm, 22nd February 1995

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the most common criticism made of the Anglo-Irish agreement by people in Northern Ireland was that it was imposed, and that it would have been far better if it had been advanced on the basis of a contribution to further discussions between the parties in Northern Ireland? Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in my judgment, the basis on which he has announced the framework document today precisely meets the criticisms made at that time? I congratulate him on that.

Are not my right hon. Friend and all the brave people of Northern Ireland, to whom the Leader of the Opposition rightly referred, entitled to expect that the political leaders of those people should now carry out the undertaking that they claimed to me to be capable of discharging? They should now recognise the document as a basis for discussion and as an opportunity to negotiate and achieve a sensible and lasting agreement.