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I shall come on to that point, but I want to say a few sentences about the consent mechanism. I understand the disquiet that has been expressed by those on the Unionist Benches about the design of the mechanism. It is nevertheless worth noting that that mechanism gives to Stormont a power that is unique in Europe. No other regional Parliament or Assembly anywhere else in Europe has the power, unilaterally, to decide to end the application of a set of European Union rules and regulations to its territory.
Having said that, I do want to recognise the fact that elements of the new package as regards Northern Ireland have aroused genuine disquiet and anger in Unionist communities across Northern Ireland. There is a perception that they have been treated unequally and that their place in the United Kingdom has been made less secure. I ask my right hon. Friends on the Government Front Bench urgently to seek ways to address those concerns and to assert the Government’s continued commitment to the Union.