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[1st Day]

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 5:37 pm on 21st June 2017.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Leader of the Liberal Democrats 5:37 pm, 21st June 2017

We are a party that believes in pluralism. We simply reflect on the appalling nature of first past the post, which gives such unstable and unbalanced electoral outcomes. Perhaps we should change the system.

There have been many things said about the DUP. I will make one observation, which I hope people will consider to be neutral and honest. Peace in Northern Ireland was incredibly hard-won, at great cost. All active politicians in Northern Ireland, including those who are sitting behind me now, are owed great credit for that achievement. The difficulty is simply this: the current minority Government will be perceived to have taken sides for the first time in decades. That is a responsibility that the Government, the Prime Minister and the DUP will need to deal with as we seek to maintain that hard-won peace.

To return to the point that was made a moment ago, I made it clear throughout the election campaign that my party would do no deals and form no coalitions, and that we would support a Queen’s Speech only if we felt that it was in the interests of the country.