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 Maginnis of Drumglass Lord Maginnis of Drumglass Independent Ulster Unionist 1:06 pm, 16th January 2020

My Lords, I do not disagree with anything that has been said about the agreement and I am pleased to see a working Assembly once again. However, it concerns me as someone who was involved in the Belfast agreement that we appear to have had an inefficient Administration while the Assembly was not in place. We have not resolved the RHI issue, and it is important that we do. It is impoverishing farmers, in so far as we have not had equality on it with the rest of the United Kingdom or, indeed, with the south of Ireland. When will that be resolved?

Further to that, it appears to someone who was involved in 1998 that the Irish Government have been allowed to infringe strand 1 of the agreement. I hope that the Minister can address this. Moreover, why has nothing been done to discipline those responsible for finding money under the counter and paying £10,000 to someone who claimed to be annoyed by the Queen’s portrait hanging in their building? I advise the Minister, with respect, that those issues cannot be brushed under the carpet as they have been year after year. If we are to have a successful Assembly, we need a degree of openness. That starts with government here at Westminster.