Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 Section 3(2)

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (Rule of Law) – in the House of Commons at 9:25 pm on 9th September 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 9:25 pm, 9th September 2019

I have some difficult news for the right hon. Gentleman. The disillusionment in democratic institutions stretches across all communities in Northern Ireland, including in his constituency. I talk to those people. Those who want to see Stormont working are desperately worried that the politicians—all politicians from all backgrounds—are not making the necessary progress.

I will conclude, because other Members want to speak. I want to finish by putting some specific points to the Minister. Prorogation has made it difficult for this House to make the decisions it will have to make. We will come back here on 14 October, and between then and 31 October, if we have no deal, we will have 11 sitting days. Some of those will be taken up by the Queen’s Speech. The Secretary of State rightly promised the House regular updates. The first will take place before the House returns. We need those updates to be meaningful to reassure not simply this House but the people of Northern Ireland that there is a plan and a strategy to move this forward. We need to know—the Opposition will co-operate with the Government on this—that there is the capacity to make the legal decisions that will be necessary to move the situation forward, but they have to be the right decisions and there has to be dialogue across the Chamber and an exchange of information.

There also has to be—this is really important—a maintenance of the dialogue between Dublin and London, so that when we take action here we know there will be support from the Government in Dublin so that people from all communities can be reassured that a concerted effort is being made to bring this situation to an end.