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Northern Ireland: Political Advisers

Volume 669: debated on Thursday 24 February 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 27 January

(WA 176) concerning a document of 10 April 2003 entitled Ministerial Decision Making: Interim Procedures, whether the practice not to consult advisers about decisions for cross-border bodies means that there is no Unionist impact; and, if so, whether this is consistent with the spirit of the Belfast agreement of 1998. [HL1140]

We do not agree that the involvement or otherwise of political advisers in decisions relating to cross-border bodies means that there is no Unionist impact.

asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 27 January

(WA 176) concerning political advisers during a period of suspension of devolution in Northern Ireland, whether there was an agreement on the issue of consultation with political advisers between the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. [HL1141]

On 19 December 2002 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gave a written undertaking to the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party that advisers could have the same prior access to relevant documents on North/South decisions as they had before suspension.He also undertook to make arrangements to ensure that each decision made under the exchange of notes remained transparent.