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Northern Ireland: Restoring Devolution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:04 pm on 21st October 2019.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 5:04 pm, 21st October 2019

Since taking on this job, I have been meeting the parties almost on a weekly basis, but, as the hon. Gentleman acknowledged, this is an issue for the five parties. It is ultimately up to those parties to come together, and both the Irish Government and the British Government stand ready with ideas and thoughts in order to make that happen.

On the relationship between the Government and the DUP, my responsibilities are for all parties in Northern Ireland, but I have a good relationship with the DUP. I will continue to support the Union to the best of my ability, along with all Members of this House. On the issue of direct rule, I could not have been clearer that Stormont and local decision making is my priority and the best way, in my view, for Northern Ireland to move forward.