Windsor Framework Debate

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Department: Northern Ireland Office
Tuesday 7th March 2023

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, shall we hear from the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie, and then from my noble friend Lord Hailsham?

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Lord Caine Portrait Lord Caine (Con)
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I thank the noble Baroness for her question. She will be aware that the legislation is still being drafted. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State spoke to Northern Ireland parties over the weekend, officials engaged with Northern Ireland parties yesterday and there will be more such engagement from my right honourable friend and officials later this week. That process is ongoing and we do wish to bring forward the required legislation as soon as necessary. The noble Baroness mentioned the role of the Irish Government; of course, we keep in close contact with the Irish Government, but I think it is very important that we observe the constitutional proprieties on this matter, given that these are strand 1 issues and internal to the United Kingdom Parliament.

Viscount Hailsham Portrait Viscount Hailsham (Con)
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My Lords, in welcoming the framework agreement, may I say to my noble friend that this shows what can be achieved when the principal negotiators are masters of detail, are willing to compromise and have a reputation for honesty and straight dealing—and that is a lesson that should be learned by previous negotiators?

Lord Caine Portrait Lord Caine (Con)
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I am grateful to my noble friend; I cannot imagine what possible point he is trying to make with his question, but I can assure him that the attributes he set out are all ones that my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has in spades.