Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:36 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport) 4:36 pm, 24th October 2018

I have to agree with my hon. Friend—that is 100% right. I am from a family who have been affected directly. Many members of my family served in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately we suffered as a consequence of that and are still suffering today.

We have missed a shot in moving these matters forward. However, I do appreciate the work that has gone into trying to bring forward something that will potentially provide an opportunity for some decisions to be made. Not that many weeks ago, we passed a pay rise for the teachers. There was an excuse that that cannot be passed across to Northern Ireland, but we will get a Barnett consequential in the next Budget should we have a mechanism to pass that pay rise on. I believe that this Bill will give civil servants and permanent secretaries the opportunity to make those decisions and pass on those pay rises, which are long overdue.

We have had a long debate on this matter. I hope and pray that this will be the last time that we have to bring to this House such a piece of legislation that would normally be addressed in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Let us hope and pray that we have that Assembly up and running, making decisions, in the near future.