Minsterial Visits

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:50 pm on 7th July 1999.

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Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister

I have no immediate plans to do so.

Photo of Mr Nigel Beard Mr Nigel Beard Labour, Bexleyheath and Crayford

I am sorry that the Prime Minister will not be coming to Bexleyheath and Crayford. If he were able to do so, he would meet members of a community, which is a cross-section of the whole country, who admire and applaud his strenuous efforts to bring peace to Northern Ireland. When he next meets Unionist and nationalist leaders, will he tell them of the incomprehension, impatience and anger that will be felt in such communities if the best prospect for a settlement in Northern Ireland this century collapses because one side has made no gesture in many months to recognise legitimate concerns for arms decommissioning and the other side is too intransigent to wait 30 days for decommissioning to begin?

Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair Prime Minister

There are difficult decisions for all sides in Northern Ireland. All I ask is that people keep an open mind and carry on discussing the nature of the legislation with the Government so that we can put proposals that are agreed by everybody to the House next week. I very much hope that that will be the case.