Belfast Agreement

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 24th January 2005.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Shadow Spokesperson (Women), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what amendments he expects will need to be proposed to the Belfast Agreement as a consequence of the adoption of the 'Proposals by the British and Irish Governments for a Comprehensive Agreement.'

Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

As I said in this House on 9 December, the Agreement was not set in stone when first signed and it was clearly always the intention that certain elements would be open to change; the commitment to review and report on its operation, which was written into the Agreement itself, would have made no sense otherwise. Equally, certain fundamental aspects of the Agreement have always been regarded by the Governments and the other parties who supported it as fundamental, and not open to change.

We do not envisage any textual amendment of the Agreement at all. But, as the hon. Lady will have seen, our proposals would involve a number of changes in the way the Agreement operates.

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