Northern Ireland Budget Bill

Part of Miscellaneous – in the House of Commons at 8:47 pm on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Ian Paisley Jnr Ian Paisley Jnr Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 8:47 pm, 13th November 2017

I agree that it is a case of “Brits in”, but of course the British have never left, and could never be bombed out, bullied out, pushed out or got out, because it is our land—our country—and we are staying there, so I never really subscribed to the view that we were “out” in the first place.

The call to have an Irish dimension as part of this process has fallen on deaf ears. There is no role in the new mechanism that we are now in—this “twilight zone”, as it has been called—for the Irish dimension. That has left nationalists and republicans bereft of any sort of foothold in the process going forward. That is entirely their fault. We live in a divided community. We have a society that is split and we have to try to heal it. We can do that only when we have responsible politicians on the side of Sinn Féin, the SDLP and others coming forward and being prepared to lead their community away from the abyss that they have taken it to. It is sad that they have decided to do that, but they have done it and it is their responsibility.

My party is up for devolution. We put an awful lot of effort into it. I know the sacrifice that was made by many people in my party and many people on these Benches. I know the personal sacrifice that was made by my father to get devolution up and running. It saddens me that it is coming to an end, but I shed no tears for it when I see the mess that some people would try to make of it. If people want to squander it and make a mess of it, let us bring it to an end and finish it. Let us have direct rule and get on with governing our people in a sensible way.