Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

The hon. Gentleman raises an interesting point. Before I answer directly, let me say that I have, of course, sought to get the parties in the Executive to continue to send a Minister to the Joint Ministerial Committee, but that is only one mechanism; there are others. I think that the Prime Minister will be speaking to the Taoiseach next week, so the Irish Government interest will be represented. I will, of course, talk to others more directly. I went to Northern Ireland early on in my time in this job. I am inclined to say yes to the hon. Gentleman—I will write to him—but let me consider the issue carefully, so that I do not land myself in some problem. The reason I say that and the reason I am being cautious is that an election is now under way, and I have to be wary of the British Government appearing to meddle in any aspect of the election. Let me, therefore, pause and think about that. I will do what I judge to be in the best interests of Northern Ireland. The hon. Gentleman must take that as my promise.