Thursday, 18 April 2013

Questions (48)

Brendan Smith

Question:

48. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will outline the further discussions he proposes to hold with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State in relation to the proposed Bill of Rights in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18121/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government remains firmly committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Good Friday and St. Andrews Agreements. In contacts with the British government, we will continue to stress the importance of implementation of all aspects of the Agreements, including of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland which takes account of the separate and specific context of Northern Ireland. I will avail of a planned meeting later this month with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to have a further discussion on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

I will also continue to urge all the parties in the Assembly to engage in constructive discussion with a view to reaching agreement on the substance of a Bill of Rights.

A Bill of Rights drawn up by agreement between the main parties of the Assembly could set out precisely and formally the rights upon which a shared future for the people of Northern Ireland can be based.