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British-Irish Council: Housing

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 19th January 2016.

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Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice 10:45 am, 19th January 2016

The Minister patently is not culpable, but it is worth noting that it has taken two and a half months to make this statement. The Minister says that is because there are processes to be gone through, but this statement is in identical terms to the communiqué that has been on the BIC website for two months. So I do not understand the explanation that it takes processes to approve a statement that is in identical terms to one that has been on the record for two months. Is the truth of the matter that the BIC is seen as unimportant, given that, on this issue, in nine years there have been only four ministerial meetings? Is that because the BIC is the poor relation in intergovernmental relations for the House? Where is the substance in this statement? It took almost as long to read out who was there as what was done. Compared with the last communiqué, where is the difference in this? Where is the substance of the work being done, supposedly, in this work stream?