I wish to present a petition on behalf of 15,000 citizens of Northern Ireland, representing the majority of people in Northern Ireland who want the House to understand their anger at the changes to the education system embodied in the draft Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. The petition:
Declares… that there has been no infrastructural audit or costing by Government relevant to the changes that are to be proposed…
Further declares that it is undeniable that, were the Northern Ireland Assembly to reconvene, legislative proposals on the lines of the Draft Order would not command majority support, let alone the cross-community support required for controversial measures under the Belfast Agreement of 1998…
Further declares that the decision to bring the Draft Order before Parliament rests with a governing party unwilling to seek the franchise of a single voter in Northern Ireland.
Further declares that while efforts to restore the Assembly continue, it would be an extraordinary step to pre-empt that happening by effecting this fundamental change within an area of devolved responsibility.
Further declares that we citizens residing in Northern Ireland wish to be governed with the same respect as citizens residing in Great Britain, and are unable to reconcile the proposals herein referred to with the Prime Minister’s recent decision to avoid any confrontation with areas in England choosing to retain their grammar schools.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons revoke the proposals for radical educational change in Northern Ireland embodied in the Draft Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.
To lie upon the Table.