Northern Ireland Executive Formation - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:06 pm on 16th January 2020.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 1:06 pm, 16th January 2020

I put on record my thanks to my noble friend Lord Caine. I know how much he has done in the Northern Ireland Office to bring about what has been achieved today. The success is owed not to any one individual but to a number of individuals over a very long period of time who have put their shoulder to the wheel. Again, I agree that this should allow us to move from that political paralysis. The key thing here is the sustainability of the institutions, which we must now ensure goes forward. We do not wish to be in anything like this situation again—ever, let alone any time soon.

As to the joint board and the notion of “devolve and forget”, the joint board, I hope, will provide that momentum and push to ensure that, where there are issues that require early engagement on a ministerial level, this will take place and will allow filtering down into the Civil Service on both sides of the water to ensure that we are able to get Northern Ireland back to where it belongs, which is what the people of Northern Ireland richly deserve.