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

The noble Lord is right to bring this matter before us. Restoring the Executive might end up looking like the easy bit of the operation when we start to see what serious challenges over revenue the incoming Executive are confronted by. Very difficult decisions will need to be taken, and I hope that the joint board will be able to operate in a spirit of consensus in that regard. It is the job of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland not to instruct this process but to support it as it goes forward. There will be difficult decisions in health and on the wider education question, and each will require Ministers to step up to the plate, which is how it should be. They must then face the electorate in due course to see whether they have done what they wanted done; they will be judged not by us sitting in this place but by the elections yet to come.