Amendment 6

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 4:45 pm, 15th July 2019

It would be easy to answer that in a simple way, but I suspect that tucked inside the question is a matter for greater constitutional scholars than I. I stand before noble Lords not, I am afraid, as a lawyer but as a humble geologist. I therefore feel ill-equipped to answer a question of that august nature.

In returning to the point before us, I say that this is not the right way to achieve these ends. The other place has spoken on these matters. It has spoken in a voice which we have heard on other issues and should hear today. I would ask that these amendments should not be pressed. I do not believe that they give comfort to the ongoing talks in Northern Ireland, and nor do they progress the important aspects for which those talks have been set up.