On 10 April, the Lords approved regulations which provide another five months for discussions on the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Two and a quarter years have now passed since the Executive at Stormont collapsed.
No great confidence in the success of further talks was expressed during the short debate in the Lords on the regulations.In his speech, Alistair Lexden said that ‘signs of encouragement are hard to find’.
He went on to point out that ‘our fellow countrymen and women in Ulster have had to endure the absence of democratic control over their vital public services—education, health, social welfare-- for two and a quarter years.’
He concluded by saying that ‘this order provides another five months in which a path back to full democracy in Northern Ireland can be found. We all hope for success, but as things stand today it is difficult to feel great optimism.’
If no breakthrough occurs by the end of August, direct rule will almost certainly be introduced. Follow the link to read the exchanges in the Lords… Hansard