Progress reports

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 18th July 2019.

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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) 1:00 pm, 18th July 2019

This Bill is an outrage. It is an outrage to common decency in Northern Ireland; it is an outrage because, so far today, with the exception of my right hon. Friend Nigel Dodds and Fiona Bruce, no one has actually debated its clauses with regard to Northern Ireland. Instead, the Bill has been hijacked and used as a vehicle for every other subject under the sun, and every other fancy that Members have with regard to their own pet subjects, important though they are. It is wrong that Northern Ireland will now be subjected to serious and perverse changes to its laws without proper scrutiny, without proper negotiation and without proper regulation.

Some 66% of the people of Northern Ireland have rejected the fact that Parliament should have a say on the matters that are under discussion in clause 9. In fact, they have said that they should be left to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The fact of the matter is that the Bill makes it less likely that a Northern Ireland Assembly will actually be put in place to negotiate, to debate and to legislate on these matters. As has already been said, 17,000 people have signed a letter opposing what is being done today. If we read that across to the British mainland, that is the equivalent of 500,000 signing a petition in a matter of four days.