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 Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 5:53 pm, 29th April 2019

I was nine years old when the Good Friday agreement was signed, so I suppose I am part of the post-Good Friday agreement generation. Many of us are bemused and offended by the intransigence we see facing us in this political impasse. Looking to Lyra for inspiration, her frustration at the impasse is important to us now.

In raising my concerns about Saoradh taking part in a parade in Glasgow this weekend—the parade did not take place in the end—I was confronted by people who questioned all sorts of motives. There is a lack of faith and lack of trust on both sides. I call out the Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys of Derry intimidating Catholics at prayer in Glasgow, and I call out organisations like Saoradh bringing their toxic politics and violence to the city of Glasgow. I call out both sides, because they are the only barriers to peace.

Although I wish the Minister well in the negotiations, does she agree that we need more temperate language from both sides and an understanding that, to paraphrase Mo Mowlam, if both sides are willing to compromise, we will get a good outcome? That is the way ahead. We need to understand that no one will get everything they want out of these negotiations.