Speeches

Devolution and Whitehall

Very sketchy and inadequate arrangements have been made to keep the three devolved governments in close touch with the UK government. Formal meetings are rare and little information is made available about what happens at them. The machinery exists, but it is not being used properly.

"Phantoms of hope" for devolution in Northern Ireland

On 14 November, the Lords passed the Northern Ireland Budget Bill, an emergency measure to provide funds for public services in the Province. The Bill was made necessary by the failure of talks to restore Northern Ireland’s devolved government, which collapsed in January.

Seeking justice for IRA victims

On October 27, the Lords gave a Second Reading to a Private Member’s Bill introduced by Lord (Reg) Empey, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Passchendaele Centenary

The Battle of Passchendaele began on 31 July 1917, and ended three and a half months later on 10 November. It is widely regarded as the most horrific battle in the modern history of Western Europe.

The United Kingdom in an era of devolution

The devolution of extensive powers from Westminster to devolved bodies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has profound constitutional implications.

Police misconduct

At oral question time in the Lords on 13 September, Alistair Lexden returned to a serious issue about which he has been greatly concerned since the beginning of last year—namely, the failure of the police in London and elsewhere to observe the standards expected of them during investigations of a

Brexit's Irish crisis

Brexit will affect Ireland, North and South, more profoundly than any other part of the EU. The grave and wide-ranging implications were examined at length and in the most constructive fashion in an authoritative House of Lords report published at the end of last year.

A turning point for gay people 50 years ago

On 27 July 1967, Royal Assent was given to the Sexual Offences Bill following long campaigns in the country at large, and in both Lords and Commons; in the Lords, the 8th Earl of Arran, a Liberal peer, was at the forefront, taking a Private Member’s Bill through the House to achieve reform.

The political deadlock in Northern Ireland

On Monday, 3 July James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, gave an optimistic assessment of the prospects for re-establishing devolved government in the Province which has been in abeyance since the collapse of  the Northern Ireland Executive last January.