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 Baroness is absolutely right. There are lessons to be learned for this Government and for the parties in Northern Ireland; indeed, some of them are quite hard lessons. It is the people of Northern Ireland who often make the judgment, as they have done in elections gone by.

I am aware that this process is at a very delicate stage. It is almost like the stage when you see the first green shoots of your seeds coming through and you think that you have a harvest, but that is actually when you need to tend to them most carefully. We must all do that now to ensure that we reap the harvest of what we have achieved over the past few days. I am aware that each party will now be judged on how it tends the crop before we reach the harvest.