Urgent question on Northern Ireland

05 September 2019

The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Tony Lloyd has asked an urgent question on the impact of prorogation (suspension of Parliament) on governance in Northern Ireland.

This follows the announcement that Parliament will prorogue in the second week of September.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, told MPs,

"I will publish a report on or before the 9th of October to update on progress. Throughout the period ahead I will be doing everything I can to support and encourage talks to succeed. Democratically elected politicians in Northern Ireland are best placed to take the decisions needed to support hospitals, schools and the police. I've seen the excellent work of civil servants in Northern Ireland over the last few weeks, but they cannot of course take the proactive decisions that are needed on public services or the economy in the run-up to the 31 October.

"If we cannot secure the restoration of an Executive, we will pursue the decisions making powers that are needed at the earliest opportunity."

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Shadow Minister Tony Lloyd said,

"There are a number of very specific questions I need to put to the Secretary of State about the good governance of Northern Ireland. And the first obviously examines the question of prorogation. We know we face the possibility of prorogation next week, we know that, that does place enormous challenges in terms of governance. Yes if we can see Stormont back in operation that will achieve what we need. But can I ask the Secretary of State very specifically, does he accept that there are real dangers during the period of prorogation in terms of governance of Northern Ireland?"

Image: PA

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