Northern Ireland: Political Process

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:53 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 5:53 pm, 29th April 2019

I can well understand why my hon. Friend is keen to ensure that contingency plans are in place, but I think that today is the day to look towards getting the talks started and the potential for them succeeding. I mentioned a narrow window because it is clear that, as for everything in Northern Ireland, there are events in the calendar that make it harder for the parties to come together. One such event is the local elections on Thursday; it is harder for parties to talk to each other and work together when they are out on the doorstep campaigning against each other. Once we have got through the local elections, we will have an opportunity for the parties to come together, and I want to use that opportunity.