Need to have Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive restored and Governments must give renewed impetus to talks with Parties.

2018-02-19_new_38668526_I1

Below are replies by Foreign Affairs Minister to my most recent Parliamentary Questions in Dáil Éireann.

______________________________________________

For Written Answer on : 19/04/2018 

Question Number(s): 113,114 Question Reference(s): 17323/18, 17324/18 

Department: Foreign Affairs and Trade 

______________________________________________

QUESTION REPLY

Question No. 113

Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas 
 
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he discussed with the British Secretary of State the need to resume talks between the Irish and British Governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland to restore the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 19th April, 2018.
Ref No: 17323/18 

Question No. 114

Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas 
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he discussed with the British Secretary of State plans to convene the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Smith.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 19th April, 2018.
Ref No: 17324/18 

REPLY

I propose to take questions 113 and 114 together.

Over the course of many months, the Irish and British Governments, as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, have worked tirelessly to support and facilitate the parties in their efforts to form an Executive.

The devolved, power-sharing institutions of the Good Friday Agreement are the best means for achieving accountable, representative decision-making for all the people of Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately, to date, it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on the formation of an Executive, despite intensive engagement. In light of this, the Government has been working with the British Government to consider means by which we can support the political process, in accordance with the Agreement, in the period ahead.

The Taoiseach has spoken with Prime Minister May and emphasised the Government’s full commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, and our continuing determination to secure the effective operation of all of its institutions.

I remain in very regular contact with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, whom I met in Belfast on 10 April and again in London on 16 April. We spoke about the importance of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement and reiterated that the best place for decisions on Northern Ireland to be made are the power-sharing devolved institutions

I have also discussed with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland the scope for convening the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) at this time, as part of the work by the two Governments, as co-guarantors of the Agreement, to chart a way beyond the current impasse with the devolved institutions.

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference is an important institution of the Good Friday Agreement, bringing together the Irish and British Governments under Strand Three of the Agreement on matters of mutual interest within the competence of both Governments. It does not involve any derogation from the sovereignty of either Government.

The Good Friday Agreement is the indispensable framework for providing stable, inclusive, power-sharing government for all the people of Northern Ireland and for sustaining our interlocking relationships – within Northern Ireland, on the island of Ireland and between the UK and Ireland. As co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, both Governments have an obligation to uphold and protect the letter and spirit of that Agreement and we are continuing to work to that end.

 

Advertisements