Northern Ireland: Political Situation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 8th September 2015.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 12:43 pm, 8th September 2015

I thank the Secretary of State for her statement and the measured manner in which she has conducted herself in recent weeks. I was in Northern Ireland recently, and there is complete exasperation that local politicians, having come to an agreement with the Stormont agreement, have not delivered it. Every day that passes we see the ability to reduce corporation tax in Northern Ireland missed. We see projects missed and going instead to the Republic of Ireland, bringing jobs and investment there. There is real exasperation on the ground. What the Secretary of State has said has huge local support, and I encourage her to take an extremely robust line in talks. She will have the support of the people of Northern Ireland. Will she confirm that to impose welfare reform from here would be a cop-out, and now is the time for local politicians to deliver on their responsibilities to the local people who voted for them?