It was William Gladstone who, in his diary, noted one day that he had “felled a lime” and pacified Ireland.
I think that to many in this place, and indeed in the country, the delivery of the Good Friday agreement was “job done”: devolution had been delivered, and Northern Ireland could be allowed to get on with her own affairs. That is a very lazy attitude, and it worries me. Many Members were present last Thursday when the Secretary of State responded to the urgent question from Tony Lloyd. The Secretary of State will have heard the concerns that were expressed, and he has heard the concerns expressed today about the dropping, or the non-moving, of motions that were on the Order Paper on the grounds of shortage of time. It is the Treasury Bench that has curtailed the timetable through Prorogation, and I will return to that in a moment, but there is, I think, a growing sense, in the House and elsewhere, that No.10—not the ministerial team—seems to care little, and understand less, about Northern Ireland.