Part of Northern Ireland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Crossbench 4:15 pm, 11th March 2009

What in fact we are creating—I did not want to reduce it purely to political terms—is a one-issue election forecast for the future, for ever. Once policing and justice are the responsibility of a Minister in the Assembly, one party will be able to argue for the first time, "Vote for us. We may actually have the justice and policing responsibility". The other party—this is the carve-up between the two parties—will say, "Vote for us, because we are the one party that can prevent Sinn Fein from having the responsibility for policing and justice". This legislation turns Northern Ireland once again, and more starkly than ever before, into a sectarian society where the electoral contest is purely sectarian.