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Political Situation

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

We are all very encouraged by the positive start to devolution, and I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman, his party colleagues and the other parties for the strong leadership that everyone has shown.

I thank the Secretary of State for his comments. However, does he accept that to bed in political progress and stability in Northern Ireland, it is absolutely essential that the right economic and financial package, which was promised to the people of Northern Ireland, is put in place?

I welcome the presence of the Chancellor during these questions and his input into the work of progressing the economic package. I also welcome the fact that Sir David Varney is starting work on the corporation tax review this week. Can the Secretary of State assure us that progress will be made towards ensuring that a step change in the Northern Ireland economy can be made, moving forward, so that we can make real political and economic progress for Northern Ireland?

Order. The House needs to come to order. This noise is unfair to those who want to hear Northern Ireland questions.

The Chancellor has been equally concerned to make sure that the incoming Executive, of which the hon. Gentleman is a member, have the best possible start and the best possible financial platform to succeed. That will be the case; any final details will be settled, and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be satisfied.