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

The hon. Gentleman represents his constituency and his constituents incredibly well, and he is very attuned to the mood of the public. We have had a number of conversations in which he has expressed his frustration about the lack of an Executive and what it means for the people in his constituency, and in which he has spoken about matters he campaigns for passionately—he has been a leading campaigner on the Muckamore Abbey issue.

I want to see the Assembly restored, and it is for the politicians in Northern Ireland to do that. No Government can impose a political settlement on the politicians in Northern Ireland; it has to be an agreement between those politicians. The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 enables the Executive to be reformed without further action being taken by this House, and I urge politicians to seize this moment. We have a small window, and the public are behind the political leaders and want to see them do the right thing. This is the moment for the political leaders to seize that opportunity, do the right thing and go back into government.