Shailesh Vara, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, backs a Bill to extend the period for the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland by one year and expresses his personal commitment to the people of Northern Ireland.
Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) (Con)
I can give, on a personal level, the assurance that those of us who have been involved with Northern Ireland politics take it seriously. Some of us actually resigned from the Northern Ireland Office and sacrificed our ministerial careers because we cared passionately about Northern Ireland, and it is certainly not a game from the viewpoint of many of the Ministers who have served there—and most certainly not a game from the viewpoint of this Minister who resigned on principle.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Chris Heaton-Harris)
The former Secretary of State has, in his own words, described the seriousness with which everyone takes Northern Ireland and its politics, and especially its people—and those people in Northern Ireland want their locally elected representatives to go back to work. So do I, and so, I believe, does everyone in the House, notwithstanding the tiny bit of work that we have to do with our European Union partners. This Bill will lay the groundwork for that to happen, and I therefore commend it to the House.