More from stormin’ Norman on N’orn Ireland

Lord Tebbit has been busy in the Lords of late. He’s also asked this of Her Majesty’s Government: what is the nature of the “partnership, north and south” which the joint statement of the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach of the Irish Republic at Armagh on 6 April envisaged would give expression to “the legitimate aspiration of nationalists and republicans for a united Ireland”.

Jeff Rooker answered thus: The Prime Minister emphasised in his speech accompanying the joint statement of 6 April that the Belfast agreement was based on, “mutual respect for a difference of view”, in which both unionist and nationalist aspirations held equal legitimacy. The Government’s preference remains for the full implementation of that agreement. Should recalled Assembly members be unable to elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister and form an executive by November 24, there would be a need to develop further British-Irish partnership arrangements. Such arrangements would ensure that the Belfast agreement’s provisions for practical co-operation on a north-south and east-west basis were actively developed for the benefit of all.

  • heck

    when is joint authority not joint authority?

  • when you’re in a room full of bogarts !

  • loyalist

    ah now east-west links don’t mean joint authority, the south is a sovereign state you know, they have a tank and everything, it was on the telly at Easter.

  • Occasional Commentator

    If they’re going ahead implementing other parts of the Agreement, an agreement which was actually an international treaty between the two states, then you could say that the RoI have had an internationally recognized claim of sorts for 8 years.

    If the RoI don’t feel the UK are implementing their treaty obligations, then they can take them to international courts or at the very least embarass them internationally.

    Is it possible that the UK would prefer to give up on the whole thing and just repartition via the councils, but are only persisting because of RoI pressing their treaty rights? Unlikely I think, but it might be a factor.

    But anyway, this is the second Irish question from Tebbit that the government have avoided giving a straight answer to.

  • Rory

    Neither Baroness Scotland nor Jeff Rooker really avoided giving a direct answer to Tebbit, Occasional Commentator. By simply restating the well known government position they simply said to Tebbit, “Oh, do grow up. You’re a big boy now. Go figure.”

  • Nevin

    “Such arrangements would ensure that the Belfast agreement’s provisions for practical co-operation on a north-south and east-west basis were actively developed for the benefit of all.”

    Perhaps strands 2 and 3 of the 1998 Agreement should be merged so that a measure of equality could be given to the development of all positive relations across the two islands.

    From an NI perspective, the ‘shared ground’ for unionists and nationalists, this would mean the development of links to all of the territories named in Strand 3.