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 9:40 pm on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 9:40 pm, 9th September 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her intervention and pay tribute to the enormous amount of work she did on that important issue; she knows that she had my support in that endeavour. She points to another example of where, if we are to believe that “Conservative and Unionist”—Unionist is the key bit—is more than just a word on a badge or on the ballot paper we need to step up to the plate to demonstrate that we are serious. She draws proper attention to another issue where ordinary families in Northern Ireland are not able to rely on the support and the interventions of the state that others have. We have an active devolution settlement in Scotland and in Wales and the Westminster Parliament here; it is only Northern Ireland that, apart from a little bit of ad hoc direct rule, is subject to civil service managerial governance, because there is no political impetus.

I say very clearly to the two main protagonist parties, who have the fate of devolution for Northern Ireland in their hands, that if they do not step up to the plate pretty damn soon other parties will point to them and say, “You’ve tried them, they have failed, you now have to give us a chance.”