Northern Ireland Office

We ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Northern Ireland.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Baroness Suttie (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Labour
Peter Kyle (LAB - Hove)
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Liberal Democrat
Alistair Carmichael (LDEM - Orkney and Shetland)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Labour
Baroness Smith of Basildon (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

Scottish National Party
Richard Thomson (SNP - Gordon)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Tonia Antoniazzi (LAB - Gower)
Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)
Ministers of State
Conor Burns (CON - Bournemouth West)
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Lord Caine (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
Northern Ireland Office
Legislation - Main Chamber
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections, and Petitions of Concern) Bill – report stage
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
09:00
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
19 Jan 2022, 9 a.m.
Investment in Northern Ireland
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 25th January 2022
15:45
Northern Ireland Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
25 Jan 2022, 3:45 p.m.
Draft Flags (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
09:00
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
26 Jan 2022, 9 a.m.
Australia, New Zealand free trade agreements: effect on NI
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
26 Jan 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
Save to Calendar
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Debates
Thursday 13th January 2022
Select Committee Docs
Friday 14th January 2022
00:00
12 January 2022
Oral Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Investment in Northern Ireland

The Committee are assessing the economic effectiveness of UK Government policy to deliver investment in Northern Ireland. 

The inquiry looks …

Written Answers
Friday 14th January 2022
Northern Ireland Office: Buildings
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the total floor area of his Office estate was in …
Secondary Legislation
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Flags (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (S.R. 2000/347) (“the Flags Regulations”) make provision as to the flying of flags at …
Bills
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision about Ministerial appointments, extraordinary Assembly elections, the Ministerial Code of Conduct and petitions of concern …
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 18th January 2022
02:05
Treaty
None available

Northern Ireland Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Oct. 27
Oral Questions
Mar. 10
Urgent Questions
Nov. 11
Westminster Hall
View All Northern Ireland Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Northern Ireland Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Northern Ireland Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Northern Ireland Office - Secondary Legislation

The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (S.R. 2000/347) (“the Flags Regulations”) make provision as to the flying of flags at government buildings in Northern Ireland, in particular by specifying the buildings on which flags must be flown on certain days. Section 67(2) of the Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 (c. 26) provides for the Flags Regulations to apply to court houses as they apply to the government buildings specified in Part 1 of the Schedule.
This Order amends provisions in the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c. 14 (N.I.)) (the “1962 Act”) relating to election publications for Northern Ireland local elections.
View All Northern Ireland Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
20 Signatures
(1 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
20 Signatures
(1 in the last 7 days)
Northern Ireland Office has not participated in any petition debates
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Departmental Select Committee

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
Simon Hoare Portrait
Simon Hoare (Conservative - North Dorset)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Bob Stewart Portrait
Bob Stewart (Conservative - Beckenham)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Paisley Portrait
Ian Paisley (Democratic Unionist Party - North Antrim)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Claire Hanna Portrait
Claire Hanna (Social Democratic & Labour Party - Belfast South)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Robert Goodwill Portrait
Robert Goodwill (Conservative - Scarborough and Whitby)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stephen Farry Portrait
Stephen Farry (Alliance - North Down)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Gregory Campbell Portrait
Gregory Campbell (Democratic Unionist Party - East Londonderry)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Scott Benton Portrait
Scott Benton (Conservative - Blackpool South)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Mary Kelly Foy Portrait
Mary Kelly Foy (Labour - City of Durham)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 8th June 2020
Stephanie Peacock Portrait
Stephanie Peacock (Labour - Barnsley East)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 6th July 2020
Fay Jones Portrait
Fay Jones (Conservative - Brecon and Radnorshire)
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Member since 11th January 2021
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Investment in Northern Ireland
19 Jan 2022, 9 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Dr Robert Grundy - Chair at Matrix - The Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel
Philip McBride - Belfast Managing Director at Thales UK
Professor Emma Flyn - Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Queens University Belfast

View calendar
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Australia, New Zealand free trade agreements: effect on NI
26 Jan 2022, 9 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Victor Chesnutt - President at Ulster Farmers’ Union
Michael Bell - Executive Director at Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association
Ian Stevenson - CEO at Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland
At 10.45am: Oral evidence
Hon. George Brandis QC - High Commissioner at Australian High Commission
Bede Corry - High Commissioner at New Zealand High Commission

View calendar

50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the total floor area of his Office estate was in each year from 2010-11 to 2020-21.

The area of my offices in Belfast has remained constant across each year from 2011 is as follows:

Belfast Total Floor Area (m^2)

2020-21

3166

2019-20

3166

2018-19

3166

2017-18

3166

2016-17

3166

2015-16

3166

2014-15

3166

2013-14

3166

2013: 01/01/13

3166

2012: 01/01/12

3166

2011: 01/01/11

3166

The total area of my London office in 1 Horse Guards Road (HGR) is:

London Total Floor Area (m^2)

2020-21

554

2019-20

554

2018-19

554

2017-18

519

2016-17

431

2015-16

373

2014-15

431

2013-14

Information not held

2013: 01/01/13

Information not held

2012: 01/01/12

Information not held

2011: 01/01/11

Information not held

The Northern Ireland Office did not occupy 1 HGR prior to 2014/15 and does not hold the information for my London offices prior to 2014/15.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will provide an update on the work of the Castlereagh Foundation.

In July 2021, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland appointed an Advisory Committee to provide advice on appropriate delivery partners to establish the Castlereagh Foundation, the legal form it should take, the role of the foundation and the cost to establish it. The Advisory Committee submitted their written advice to the Secretary of State in January and we thank the committee for its work.

The Secretary of State is considering that advice and considering the appropriate next steps.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to reply to the correspondence from the hon. Member for East Londonderry of 28 October 2021 on Policing Ombudsman delays regarding a murder case in Londonderry.

A response was issued from my office on 11 January 2022.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent steps have been taken by the EU to facilitate trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and what steps he is taking to help ensure that business are able to source parts from Great Britain for (a) vehicles and (b) lawn mowers.

The Government welcomed the European Union’s acknowledgement in October last year that the current operation of the Protocol is having considerable impacts on Northern Ireland businesses and on the people of Northern Ireland more widely.

In December, the European Union published proposals with the intention to facilitate medicine supply to Northern Ireland. The Government is considering these proposals carefully.

In relation to movement of goods, whilst the Trader Support Service and the Movement Assistance Scheme provides support to traders moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, businesses continue to raise significant concerns with me and it is clear that there needs to be substantively different processes for goods remaining in the UK, in order to deal with these very real challenges.

The Government has made clear that discussions with the EU need to proceed with renewed urgency and our continued preference is to reach a comprehensive solution dealing with all the issues now. However, as long as there is no agreed solution, Article 16 safeguards remain on the table to deal with the very real problems faced in Northern Ireland.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to set out a timetable to address legacy issues in relation to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

As outlined in the Command Paper of July 2021, the Government remains committed to addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past by bringing forward legislation that focuses on information recovery and reconciliation.

The Government was clear when we published the Command Paper that we would engage with a wide range of stakeholders on our proposals before introducing any legislation, and that is what we are doing. This is a complex and sensitive issue and it is important that we take the time to get this right.

The Government continues to engage and reflect on what we have heard, and we are considering our next steps carefully.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to respond to the enquiry from the hon. Member for High Peak of 2 November 2021, referenced RL29389.

I can confirm to my hon. Friend that a response was issued from my office to the Hon. Gentleman on 10 December 2021.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the legacy of the Troubles.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech, this Government is committed to bringing forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

That is why, on 14 July, the Government published a Command Paper setting out its legacy proposals, with a focus on information recovery, reconciliation and delivering for those most directly affected by the Troubles.

The Government has, and continues to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and reflect on what we have heard, and are considering our next steps carefully in advance of introducing legislation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether any social events took place between three or more people within his Departmental buildings between (a) 5 November 2020 and 1 December 2020 and (b) 16 December 2020 and 22 February 2021.

This information is not collected. At the time, staff were expected to work from home and undertake meetings remotely, wherever possible.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Caine on 23 November (HL3800), how many internment-related civil claims for compensation for unlawful detention have been received by the Northern Ireland Office arising from the Supreme Court judgement of 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland); and who signed the 1973 interim custody order.

There are currently approximately 300 to 400 internment-related civil claims against the Northern Ireland Office brought on a similar basis to that of the case of R vs Adams.

As noted in the Supreme Court judgement of 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams, the 1973 order was signed by a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office.


Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Randerson on 10 July 2014 (HL394), what was the outcome of the Northern Ireland Office’s investigation on the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy between 1987 and 1997.

The use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy during the period 1987-1997 was relatively common and instances of this were not recorded in a single central list.

As Baroness Randerson said in her Written Answer, officials from the Northern Ireland Office contacted colleagues in the Department of Justice, The National Archives, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Royal Household to ascertain if they held relevant information.

While individual case records are likely to have been destroyed in accordance with proper protocols, all available details of issued Northern Ireland related RPMs have been located and collated. The Northern Ireland Office continues to meet its obligation to manage records in line with operational needs, best practice, relevant legislation and regulation, and guidance from The National Archives.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many times he has met with victim groups as part of his consultation on the plans announced in the White Paper, Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past.

I refer the hon Gentleman to the answer provided on 30 November (UIN 79422).

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on trade between Wales and Northern Ireland.

Trade within the UK internal market is vital to our economic prosperity and is a key part of the Government's commitment to strengthen the Union, bringing us closer together. Trade across the Irish Sea with Scotland, Wales and England accounts for nearly sixty per cent of Northern Ireland’s total external trade. Trade between Wales and Northern Ireland is important to the success of both economies, and the Government remains committed to strengthening these routes, to level up all parts of the United Kingdom.

I am delighted that Northern Ireland recently hosted the Board of Trade, which discussed opportunities for growth in digital trade across the UK. It brought together Cabinet ministers and trade advisers to highlight Northern Ireland's fantastic businesses, and opportunities for investment.

We are committed to boosting overseas exports from Northern Ireland, and the Department for International Trade has established a hub in Northern Ireland to assist businesses to export. Invest NI, the Department for International Trade and the Northern Ireland Office will do everything they can to promote Northern Ireland’s excellent goods and services.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is able to operate in full compliance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 48/134, known as the Paris Principles.

We are aware of the recent recommendations made by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions regarding the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and are working with the Commission to review the issues raised.

We provide funding to the Commission both for their work in the protection of rights set out in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, but also for their participation in the Dedicated Mechanism. We are absolutely committed to ensuring the Commission has the ability and resources to carry out its core functions, and we are in regular communication with the Chief Commissioner, Commissioners and staff regarding the important work that the Commission carries out.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the outcome of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions' five-year periodic review of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

We are aware of the recent recommendations made by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions regarding the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and are working with the Commission to review the issues raised.

We provide funding to the Commission both for their work in the protection of rights set out in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, but also for their participation in the Dedicated Mechanism. We are absolutely committed to ensuring the Commission has the ability and resources to carry out its core functions, and we are in regular communication with the Chief Commissioner, Commissioners and staff regarding the important work that the Commission carries out.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress the Government has made on establishing an agreement with the EU to facilitate the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

We have been in ongoing technical talks with the EU. There has been some potential convergence on the medicines issue but agreement has not been reached. Any acceptable solution needs to ensure that medicines are available at the same time and on the same basis across the whole of the UK. Continued supply of medicines to Northern Ireland is paramount.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many of the commitments made in the New Decade, New Approach agreement have been fully implemented.

The UK Government has delivered 11 of the commitments it signed up to in the New Decade, New Approach deal. We have released over £700 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal, delivered a series of events marking the centenary of Northern Ireland, and introduced institutional reforms via the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill. We continue to drive progress on our outstanding commitments as a matter of priority.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote Northern Ireland's constitutional position within the UK.

The Government is resolutely committed to the Union and will take every opportunity to promote Northern Ireland’s integral place within it as we have said many times, while always upholding the consent principle we will never be neutral on Northern Ireland's position within our United Kingdom.

During this centenary year for Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, the Government has proudly celebrated the contribution of Northern Ireland’s people, culture, traditions and enterprise to our Union and the world.

The record settlement for Northern Ireland in the Spending Review demonstrated the clear benefits of the Union, with £15 billion per year in funding alongside investment through the New Deal, City and Growth Deals and the New Decade, New Approach financial package.

Together, this investment will deliver greater prosperity and stronger public services for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland. All of this underlines the enormous benefit Northern Ireland gains from being part of the fifth largest economy in the world.

The Government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the benefits of levelling up are felt across the United Kingdom, and to make Northern Ireland an even better place to live, work and invest within it.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to increase the number of apprentices in the Northern Ireland Office.

I am pleased to say that my Department is meeting the target of having 2.3% of new starts as apprentices this financial year. One is working in my Private Office and the other in our Communications team; both roles offer excellent opportunities to work at the heart of the department, developing a range of skills.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential effect on the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in the event of a failure to reach agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

There is shared recognition of the serious problems experienced under the Protocol and the need for solutions.

Our preference is to settle this consensually and reach a positive, negotiated outcome. We have no interest in a fractious and difficult relationship with the EU but the UK Government is clear that all options remain on the table, including the invocation of Article 16.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment his Department has made of the success of the Northern Ireland centenary programme.

The Government’s programme to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland this year has been an enormous success, with the delivery of major cultural, sporting, business, community and academic events that have engaged people from all communities across Northern Ireland, the UK and internationally.

The programme has strengthened national recognition and international awareness of Northern Ireland’s unique and enduring contribution to the UK’s culture and economy, and promoted Northern Ireland as an increasingly great place to live, work, study and do business.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department takes to ensure that at least one official from his Department is present during all (a) meetings and (b) phone calls relating to Government business between Ministers and third parties.

Ministers holding meetings or phone calls on government business are routinely accompanied by a private secretary or other official, in line with the expectations of paragraph 8.14 of the Ministerial Code.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to discuss with the government of the Republic of Ireland the reported remarks made by Senator Michael McDowell about the decision not to investigate crimes by the Provisional Irish Republican Army that occurred before April 1998.

The UK Government engages regularly with the Irish Government, on a range of matters that require or benefit from the partnership between our two countries, including legacy matters. Legacy issues are due to be discussed during the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) on 2 December.

The UK and Irish Governments have also been undertaking a period of engagement regarding legacy issues, as announced following the BIIGC in June. During this engagement, the recent public intervention by former Attorney General and Justice Minister in Ireland, Michael McDowell, who stated that a de facto moratorium on the investigation and prosecution of IRA members exists in Ireland, has been discussed.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings he has held with political party leaders as part of the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

As part of the joint engagement process announced by the UK and Irish Governments following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties, while the UK Government has conducted its own bilateral engagements, including with the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to respond to Question 59717 on UK Shared Prosperity Fund tabled by the hon. Member for East Londonderry on 20 October 2021.

This question was answered on 26 October 2021.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many senior civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 regions of the UK on (a) 1 March 2019, (b) 1 March 2020, (c) 1 March 2021 and (d) 1 September 2021.

The number of Senior Civil Servants working in the Northern Ireland Office based in each of the NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2019, (b) 1 March 2020, (c) 1 March 2021 and (d) 1 September 2021 are shown below:

1 March 2019

1 March 2020

1 March 2021

1 September 2021

Northern Ireland

6

4

5

5

England (London UK1)

8

13

12

12

Scotland

0

0

0

0

Wales

0

0

0

0

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has attended a working group as part of the MultiParty Talks on Legacy.

The UK and Irish Governments announced a joint engagement process to make progress on legacy issues following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June. As part of this process, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties. This process has been led by senior officials, who ensure that the Secretary of State is kept apprised of the issues raised and views expressed in these meetings, which were not attended by UK or Irish ministers. There has been no ministerial attendance by the UK or Irish Governments during these engagements. The Government has of course also been conducting its own bilateral engagement regarding legacy issues, and we have spoken to an extensive range of stakeholders.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meeting he has held with victims groups as part of the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

Since the Government published the Command Paper, we have engaged with stakeholders across Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Ireland on our proposals, including representatives from the victims sector and victims and survivors directly. This engagement has taken place both with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland parties and bilaterally.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he plans to invite leaders from the Northern Ireland Executive to the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

The UK Government, as set out with the Irish Government at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, has been engaging with the Northern Ireland parties regularly since the formal engagement process started.

This has included a roundtable with the Irish Government and the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July, and numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he last met representatives of the haulage industry in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I meet regularly with the haulage industry, and a wide range of businesses, in Northern Ireland to enable a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced and to ensure that the appropriate support and practical solutions are available. I am looking forward to further discussions in the weeks ahead.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many quarterly updates on progress have been published under the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, Annex F.

We continue to work with the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government to arrange the second Implementation Review Meeting, as set out under New Decade, New Approach. We hope that a progress update can be agreed by consensus and published at that stage.

Progress to date includes the release of over £700 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal, a series of events marking the centenary of Northern Ireland, and the implementation of institutional reforms via the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the legal text of the UK's proposed changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol has been shared with the Northern Ireland Executive.

As part of the ongoing discussions with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol) we have shared a draft legal text with the EU which reflects the proposals in our Command Paper and provides the foundation for a new forward-looking Protocol that will govern the trading relationship between the UK and EU as far as it affects Northern Ireland. It is a negotiating document at the moment and therefore not public.

Ministers meet regularly with the Northern Ireland Executive First Minister and deputy First Minister to share information on the progress of our discussions with the EU on the Protocol.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
18th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of On The Run letters of assurance; and what plans they have, if any, (1) to withdraw such letters, and (2) to declare them ineffective.

In July 2014, Lady Justice Hallett published a report following her review of the “on the run” administrative scheme. The review found that while the scheme contained a number of flaws, it was not unlawful.

In September 2014, the Government set out fully its position in relation to the scheme in statements to the House of Commons. In doing so, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland made clear that the scheme was at an end and that there was no basis, legal or otherwise, for any reliance on letters received by so-called “on the runs” under the scheme.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2021, (b) 1 June 2021 and (c) 1 September 2021.

The number of Civil Servants employed by the Northern Ireland Office based in each of the NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2021 can be found in the published National Statistics, Civil Service Statistics, as at 31 March 2021.

The numbers for (b) 1 June 2021 and (c) 1 September 2021 are shown below.

1 June 2021

1 September 2021

Northern Ireland

88

89

England (London UK1)

80

81

Scotland

0

0

Wales

0

0


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what his Department’s process is for (a) recording and (b) keeping minutes of all meetings relating to Government business.

Formal, structured meetings are usually minuted, however, not all meetings need to be minuted. It is expected that the general guidance that departments give to their staff will help officials make judgements as to what meetings need to be minuted, noting their Civil Service Code obligation to ‘keep accurate official records.’

Specific procedures are in place for external meetings involving ministers. These are publicly available and can be found in the Guidance on the management of Private Office Papers.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Pardons have been issued to people in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) was used 16 times in relation to persons convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002; seven times in 2000, six times in 2001, and three times in 2002. It was used to shorten (that is not waive or remove) sentences in relation to individuals who, for technical reasons, were not eligible for the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

The RPM was used once in 1998 and once in 1999 in non-terrorism related cases in Northern Ireland. In one case, an individual was granted the RPM following assistance that person gave to the authorities (reduction in sentence for such assistance is now provided for on a statutory basis under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005). In the other, the RPM was used to commute a portion of a sentence for a soldier who spent time under close military arrest for an offence prior to conviction. Had this person been a civilian, such time (equivalent to being on remand) would have been deducted from the sentence, but there was no statutory provision for this at the time in relation to close military arrest.

Whilst the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for recommending the exercising of the RPM for terrorism-related cases in Northern Ireland, since the devolution of policing and justice in 2010, responsibility for making recommendations for the RPM in all other cases lies with the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold complete records for 1996 or 1997 due to record retention policies.


Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a list of names of all those who received a Royal Pardon in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

There are no statutory requirements relating to the publication of pardons granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM).

When it is used to shorten, rather than to waive or remove sentences, it is the convention of successive governments not to publish the use of the Royal Prerogative. Its use in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002 was in line with the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998: the names of those who benefited from the early release scheme were also not published. The names of those who received the RPM in relation to terrorist convictions in Northern Ireland were made public in the judgement issued in the case of Rodgers [2014] NIQB 79.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment on 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland) which related to the validity of an interim custody order made in 1973, (1) whether compensation has been paid to Gerard Adams, and if so how much; (2) how many claims have been made by others to have their convictions overturned; (3) how many claims for compensation have been lodged with the Northern Ireland Office; and (4) how many of these have been settled and paid, and for what total amount.

There has been no compensation paid to Gerard Adams relating to litigation against the Northern Ireland Office.

There have been two other appeals to have convictions overturned that have been allowed. There are a further two who have filed applications for leave to appeal, which have not yet been dealt with.

There are a number of internment-related civil claims against the Northern Ireland Office. The claims are asking for compensation on the basis of the claimants’ view that they were unlawfully detained on a similar basis to Mr Adams.

None of these have been settled and the vast majority have not progressed far beyond the pre-action stage.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of 22 July 2021, HCWS238, what discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the (a) workforce and (b) training requirements associated with the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the medical professionals who have ensured that women and girls have had some local access to abortion services in Northern Ireland to date. These medical professionals have, however, not been properly supported by the commissioning of services in Northern Ireland.

The lack of workforce planning and training for abortion services in Northern Ireland reflects the ongoing failure to commission these services since the UK Government set out a framework that they should be delivered under in 2020. This delay is unacceptable and in July, I directed the Department of Health to commission abortion services in Northern Ireland by March 2022.

If it becomes clear at any stage before the March 2022 deadline that the Department of Health or Executive are not making sufficient progress, or are intent on blocking this issue, then I will have no alternative but to take further steps to ensure that women and girls have access to abortion services as decided by Parliament, and to which they have a right.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference the Written Statement of 22 July 2021, HCWS238, what progress has been made on the commissioning of abortion services in Northern Ireland.

The delay in the implementation of abortion services is entirely unacceptable. Parliament has decided that women should have access to these services and this decision must be respected


I recently requested a timetable for the Health Minister’s bringing of proposals before the Executive Committee to commission abortion services. The direction I issued in July states that abortion services must be commissioned and delivered by March 2022, and this request is part of continued monitoring to ensure that services are delivered in line with that direction.


I am keen to work with the Health Minister to ensure that the rights of women and girls are protected in Northern Ireland. However, if it becomes clear at any stage before the March 2022 deadline that the Department of Health, or indeed the Executive, are not making sufficient progress, or are intent on blocking this issue, then I will have no alternative but to take further steps to ensure that women and girls have access to abortion services as decided by Parliament, and to which they have a right.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have reached an agreement with the Electoral Commission for Northern Ireland on a funding package for the next three years; and if so, what sums have been allocated.

The UK Electoral Commission was established by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and is independent of Government. It is accountable to Parliament via the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission (save for where its finances and Five Year Plan relate to the Commission's devolved Scottish and Welsh functions). Each financial year, the Commission is required to submit to the Speaker’s Committee an Estimate of its income and expenditure in relation to non-devolved elections. After its examination, the Speaker’s Committee lay the Estimate before the House of Commons. The Commission reports on outturn against the Estimate in the Annual Report and Accounts, which is certified by the Comptroller and Auditor General. Where the Commission's Annual Report and Accounts relate to Welsh and Scottish devolved functions, the Comptroller and Auditor General certifies those for the devolved Parliaments, not the UK Parliament.

The internal allocation of funding between the four national offices of the Electoral Commission is an internal matter for them.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will take steps to ensure a choice for schools who do not wish to teach the Irish Language in any legislative proposals on the Irish Language.

The Government is taking forward the carefully negotiated legislative commitments on identity, language and culture in the New Decade, New Approach agreement as the Northern Ireland Executive has not done so.

The New Decade, New Approach agreement did not include provision for the teaching of the Irish language in schools and as such, the legislation the Government will introduce makes no change to the current arrangements

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland following the recent burning of a bus in Belfast.

We are aware of the incident involving the burning of a bus in Newtownards, County Down. The security situation in Northern Ireland is kept under regular review and we are in close contact with security partners and the devolved administration.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of such items owned by or collated in this Department.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent steps they have taken to support the economy of Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland benefits hugely from being part of the fifth largest economy in the world. The UK Government is committed to levelling up across Northern Ireland, by promoting enterprise, creating jobs and attracting investment.

Northern Ireland will benefit from the UK Government's policies to level up the UK economy as a whole, such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, commitments to invest in Research and Development across the UK and support for local businesses.

During the Spending Review and Autumn Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the UK Government will provide the Northern Ireland Executive with an additional £1.6 billion per year on average through the Barnett formula on top of its annual baseline funding of £13.4 billion, along with an extra £235 million for 2021/22.

The Chancellor also announced that a total of £49 million has been allocated across 11 projects in Northern Ireland from the Levelling Up Fund, including; upgrading the electric vehicle charging network across Northern Ireland, the creation of a new bioscience research centre at Ulster University and the redevelopment of a derelict Ministry of Defence site in Derry/ Londonderry into an urban community farm.

The £400 million New Deal for Northern Ireland funding and £617 million provided through the City and Growth Deal programme will boost local growth and ensure Northern Ireland is ready to seize economic opportunities. These investments are on top of the £2 billion financial package through the New Decade, New Approach agreement and £730 million into the new PEACE PLUS programme.

Northern Ireland is also set to benefit from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will help people access opportunity in places in need, such as deprived towns and rural and coastal communities. The UKSPF will increase to £1.5 billion / year in 2024-25 and total funding will at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in all nations, each year.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the support available to victims of Northern Ireland-related acts of terrorism in mainland Great Britain.

The Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme opened in August 2021 and is being delivered by the Northern Ireland Executive. The scheme provides acknowledgement and support to people who were injured in a Troubles-related incident throughout the UK between 1966 and 2010 and living with permanent disablement as a result.

UK citizens, people from Northern Ireland or Crown Servants injured in a relevant incident in Europe will be eligible to apply.

In addition, the Home Office’s Victims of Terrorism Unit ensures that victims of terrorism in Great Britain receive effective, comprehensive and coordinated support. Further details on the range of support available can be found at victimsofterrorism.campaign.gov.uk.

The Home Secretary has committed to an internal review, which will assess the wider support package available to victims of terrorism and will provide recommendations.

Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill provides for (1) salaries, (2) secretarial expenses, and (3) travelling expenses, to be credited to Members of the Legislative Assembly during the proposed 24 week extension period for filling Ministerial offices.

The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill does not make any provision in respect of the salaries, secretarial expenses and travelling expenses of Members of the Legislative Assembly during the proposed 24-week extension period for filling Ministerial offices


Lord Caine
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with the Irish Government on the arrangements of events to mark the centenary year of the creation of Northern Ireland.

As part of the New Decade, New Approach deal, the UK Government committed to mark the Centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 in a spirit of mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation, in line with the Principles for Remembering. The Centenary programme presents a unique opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s contribution to the UK and highlight its people, places and products.

The Government’s approach has been to provide an opportunity to reflect on the past while building for the future, facilitating national recognition and international awareness of this significant anniversary, which represents not just the Centenary of Northern Ireland, but also of the United Kingdom as we know it today.

The Centenary Programme was devised to mark historical anniversaries, reflect on the historical aspects of the Centenary through an expert Historical Advisory Panel, and, through consultation with a cross community Centenary Forum, along with a number of other UK and international stakeholders, deliver a forward looking programme of events and support Northern Ireland on its path towards economic recovery following the Covid pandemic.

Representatives from the Irish Government’s Department for Foreign Affairs have been involved throughout, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has had regular discussions with the Irish Government on a range of matters, including on marking the Centenary as an important milestone within the Decade of Centenaries.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to introduce an Irish language Bill.

It is disappointing that the Northern Ireland Executive has not progressed the package of identity, language and culture legislation that was carefully negotiated as part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

This balanced package of legislation is not an 'Irish language bill’ as it will benefit everyone in Northern Ireland, including the Irish language and Ulster Scots communities, and culture and identity more widely.

In the absence of progress from the Northern Ireland Executive, the Government is now taking the necessary steps to introduce the legislation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the Northern Ireland Executive on the implementation of vaccination programmes in Northern Ireland.

Thanks to the UK-wide vaccine rollout, over 85% of Northern Ireland’s adult population have received two doses of the vaccine. It will be important that we maintain this collective approach as we seek to recover from the pandemic.

Ministers across the UK Government speak to those in the Northern Ireland Executive and other devolved administrations on how they can support nationwide rollout.

Although each devolved administration controls its own public health policy, we have been coordinating our responses to Covid, seeking alignment in policy and approach where appropriate, to ensure we tackle the pandemic effectively.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)