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 that this agreement can move Northern Ireland forward. The important thing to recognise is that, because of the absence of an Executive, it has slipped back. In moving it forward we are just trying to bring it into parity with the other nations in the United Kingdom. That is important to emphasise. A journey now has to be taken, and it will not be achieved quickly or in a single step. I am pleased to be able to welcome the £45 million for the city of Derry/Londonderry, given the number of times I have not been able to talk about it because I was never able to make that clear. Now I can make it very clear indeed. I also personally pay tribute to the officials in the Northern Ireland Office. I know how much they care, how hard they worked on this and how much they have helped me as I have tried to deliver on these issues as well. I hope now that this deal does what it says on the tin and makes us move into the new decade in the right way.