Windsor Framework (Constitutional Status of Northern Ireland) Regulations 2024 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 9:45 pm ar 13 Chwefror 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown DUP 9:45, 13 Chwefror 2024

My Lords, I am delighted to follow the noble Lord, Lord Hay. At the commencement, before I deal with the two statutory instruments, there are some things that have to be said in reply to some of the charges that have been made against us.

The noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie, seems to be concerned about the tone of the Command Paper. I remind her that it has no legislative force. We are dealing with the two statutory instruments, which are vital. The Command Paper is important to set, as it were, the backdrop to what is being sought to be done.

I understand the point that the noble Lord, Lord Alderdice, is making: he hopes that the new arrangements will allow that never again will anyone be killed or children left without their parents. But I have to say, and he will agree with me, that there never was a reason why anyone was to be killed, or was killed, or any child was left without a father or a mother, or parents left without their children.

The noble Lord, Lord Bew, challenged my noble friend a few moments ago concerning the seven tests. Like many others whom I have listened to, he has tried to interpret the DUP’s seven tests. We set the tests. We know exactly what those tests meant. We know their interpretation. The first test is the fulfilment of Article 6 of the Act of Union. The Supreme Court has ruled that this is suspended because EU law takes precedence through Section 7A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. It is therefore wrong to say that our test did not require EU law to be lifted from Northern Ireland. Noble Lords need only listen to the statements and speeches, and to read the articles written by leading spokesmen of the Democratic Unionist Party over the last two years to know that the issue of EU jurisdiction was vital to our manifesto commitment. I say to noble Lords: no, we will not allow others to rewrite the meaning of our tests.