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 Seamus Mallon Mr Seamus Mallon , Newry and Armagh 3:31 pm, 22nd February 1995

The Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic signed the joint declaration on 15 December two years ago. They gave themselves an awesome responsibility when they committed themselves to remove the causes of the conflict, to overcome the legacy of history and to heal the divisions that have resulted.

Does the Prime Minister agree that those responsibilities have been furthered by the framework document, which was published today, which is based on consent and which can be implemented only through agreement? Does he further agree that that primary agreement—not exclusively—will be between those people represented by the Ulster Unionist party and by our own party within Northern Ireland; and that, as two parties representing the vast majority of the people in the north of Ireland, of both traditions, we also have an awesome responsibility to pursue the noble objective of peace and to make the concessions which are going to be required, not just from Unionism but from nationalism as well; and that, if we pursue that line, then we will all be fulfilling those responsibilities?