Orders of the Day — Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:22 pm on 17th December 2001.

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Photo of Eric Joyce Eric Joyce Labour, Falkirk West 7:22 pm, 17th December 2001

It is a privilege to be called to speak in this debate, which represents the latest incremental step in what has been a long progress towards normalisation in Northern Ireland. I am aware that many hon. Members here tonight have a detailed knowledge of the subject at hand, particularly those Members with constituencies in Northern Ireland. However, they, too, will be aware that many of us with constituencies outside Northern Ireland have constituents with a great deal of interest in the subject. My constituency is no different.

That makes the comment of Rev. Martin Smyth—that the Labour Government have nothing to lose in Northern Ireland—seem a bit cheap, given that Mr. Trimble spent several minutes saying how large the responsibilities were of the Labour Government in Northern Ireland. [Interruption.] I did not miss the point. The hon. Gentleman said that the Labour Government had nothing to lose in Northern Ireland.