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Northern Ireland Executive Formation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Julian Smith Julian Smith The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:25 am, 16th January 2020

I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for the work that he personally did on the talks process before he had a spell of very bad illness, for his continued commitment to Northern Ireland and for his assistance, advice and counsel to me since I took on this job.

On sustainability, my right hon. Friend is absolutely right. In the chapter on sustainability that was developed, as were all parts of the party-led agreement, by working groups earlier last year, there are many initiatives on supporting and funding Opposition parties and on looking at how things would work should the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister resign.