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Constitutional Reform

Volume 21: debated on Tuesday 30 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether, in his meetings with party representatives concerned with his initiative on devolution, he made clear to each delegation (a) the requirement for a 70 per cent. majority embodying cross-community support for any devolution of powers to a Northern Ireland elected assembly and (b) the method of involvement of Northern Ireland parties in the proposed assembly as a cross-border body of elected representatives; and by what means.

[pursuant to his reply, 29 March 1982, c. 44]: In my talks on constitutional development with the political parties in Northern Ireland I have made it clear that any proposals for devolution must be acceptable to both sides of the community. I have also discussed with the parties the case for a weighted majority in the assembly for any devolution proposals.No cross-border body of elected representatives is contemplated, but as for participation of members of the Northern Ireland assembly in an Anglo-Irish inter parliamentary body, the first step is for the Parliaments in London and Dublin to decide whether to establish such a body.