Alex Davies-Jones Portrait Alex Davies-Jones
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I wholeheartedly agree with the right hon. Lady. She is right that the Welsh Language Act 1993 massively strengthened our culture in Wales and us as a country. I press the Minister on when we can expect that legislation to be forthcoming.

Our amendment would help to push forward progress on two key areas: a Bill of Rights and the re-establishment of a civic forum. On a Bill of Rights, we on the Labour Benches are well aware that it is a reserved responsibility for the Secretary of State. The tightly drafted nature of the Bill meant it was difficult to put responsibility on the Secretary of State himself. Nevertheless, a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland was first promised in the 1998 Good Friday agreement, but progress towards its development has repeatedly stalled. The establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights at Stormont earlier this year represents a fresh attempt to move things forward. A Bill was an essential and fundamental safeguard of the Good Friday agreement, and it is simply wrong that it has not been developed. Action is needed now.

We believe the Secretary of State should take action by responding to the forthcoming report of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the House of Commons Committee on a Bill of Rights. The Secretary of State should request that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission provides advice on a Bill of Rights, further to its functions as set out in section 69(7) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Secretary of State would subsequently lay before Parliament legislation giving effect to that advice. It is time to act.

On a civic forum, we believe that that was an important feature of decision making envisaged under the Good Friday agreement. Done well, it would give communities a strong say in decision making. It would give a voice in a deliberative forum to groups not often considered, and could vastly improve decision making in the process. The Good Friday agreement was about a new participative politics. The argument the Women’s Coalition put forward for a civic forum was as an advisory second chamber designed to give the trade union movement and businesses, as well as the community and the women’s movement, a place in political policy making. The prize of that expertise and knowledge is a durable solution that keeps communities on board, one that I hope will be considered going forward.

Finally, I will turn to the amendments in the name of the hon. Member for North Down (Stephen Farry) and my hon. Friends the Members for Foyle (Colum Eastwood) and for Belfast South (Claire Hanna). On new clause 1, on the appointment of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, it is clear that that was not envisaged by the Belfast-Good Friday agreement, but it is becoming an issue that must be dealt with through collective agreement. Polling shows, particularly among younger people, that identity is no longer binary. People identify as Irish, British and neither. It is far from inconceivable that the first and second-placed parties could come from neither Unionism nor nationalism. That raises important questions for the post-Belfast-Good Friday agreement and post-St Andrews power sharing mechanisms. I urge the Secretary of State not to put off serious consideration on this topic any longer. New clause 1, in the name of the hon. Member for North Down, raises questions that cannot be ignored and it is time for collective discussion.

On new clauses 2 and 4, we recognise the value and logic of a more consensual approach to electing the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, as envisaged by the Belfast-Good Friday agreement.

On new clause 3, in the name of the hon. Member for North Down and my hon. Friends the Members for Foyle and for Belfast South, the logic is again clear. The First Minister and Deputy First Minister have exactly the same powers: each have an equal say in the affairs of Northern Ireland and each have a fundamental right for their position to be respected. Equality was the essence and the spirit of the Good Friday agreement, and that is reflected in the joint powers held by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. New clause 3 reflects that, and it is one the Secretary of State should take away and look at seriously. Whichever tradition is elected to the position of First Minister and Deputy First Minister should be respected. Failure to do so simply undermines the principles of the Good Friday agreement. We hope the Minister will seriously consider the proposals.

Conor Burns Portrait The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Conor Burns)
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It is a pleasure to be back at the Dispatch Box. I hope, Madam Deputy Speaker, that I might briefly beg the indulgence of the House. I was in my office on Sunday afternoon, having had a very busy period in my first weeks in the Northern Ireland Office. There were some letters on my desk that were addressed as personal. I opened one to find it was a letter congratulating me on returning to Government from our late colleague Sir David Amess. I would just like to place on record my tribute to David. I knew him well. We served together on the all-party parliamentary group on the Holy See and had very many enjoyable trips to Rome. He had an irrepressible and irreverent sense of humour, and one was always cheered up by being in David’s company.

This has been a fascinating debate. It has been a debate, if I may say so, of two parts: the debate that makes reference to what is actually on the Order Paper and the amendments that have been tabled; and then there was the majority of the debate, which bore very little relationship to what is on the Order Paper or the amendments before the House. I will, in endeavouring to respond to various points, try to stick to the amendments and the Order Paper.

The Bill is deliberately limited in its scope. It is designed to implement the agreements reached under New Decade, New Approach. I make this point to all hon. Members who sit for Northern Ireland constituencies. Critically, those agreements were entered into by the parties in Northern Ireland. That is why we deliberately limited what we seek to do here. We are seeking to implement those commitments. We do not think it is the role of Her Majesty’s Government to innovate in this space when future changes, were they to be made, should be driven by the parties in Northern Ireland.

Conor McGinn Portrait Conor McGinn (St Helens North) (Lab)
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I understand entirely the point the Minister makes, but there have been occasions when the Government—both Governments, in fact—have given commitments. One is on an Irish language Act, or legislating for Irish language provisions and the rest of the cultural package. The Government said that they would do that by the end of October if legislation or agreement was not reached in Stormont. A spokesman for the Government reiterated that commitment at the start of this month. Can the Minister tell us when he is going to bring that legislative package forward? If he cannot tell us that today, can he at least give an assurance that the Government will hold to their word, and are still committed to legislating for Irish language and other cultural provisions?

Conor Burns Portrait Conor Burns
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What I can tell the hon. Gentleman is that the Government have no intention of introducing an Irish language Act. We will bring forward a cultural package in which Irish language will play a part, but he knows as well as I do that language in Northern Ireland is often analysed very carefully, so we are not proposing such an Act. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will have more to say on that in due course.

I read carefully the Committee stage and evidence sessions of the Bill to familiarise myself with the content before this debate. I place on record my appreciation for my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester (Mr Walker), who had a very clear grasp of matters.

In essence, the hon. Member for Belfast East (Gavin Robinson) summed up the Bill in his intervention on the hon. Member for North Down (Stephen Farry). This Bill implements the commitments in New Decade, New Approach; it does no more and no less. My right hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Julian Smith) of course oversaw the negotiations that gave rise to that document. This Bill delivers on our commitments and seeks to put the institutions into a more sustainable format, should we ever—as we hope we do not—reach a position where the institutions again become vulnerable.

The hon. Member for Foyle (Colum Eastwood) hit the nail on the head: what the people in Northern Ireland want us to focus on is the national health service and deprivation. That was certainly the message I got when I visited the Caw/Nelson Drive Community Action Group in his constituency and the Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. They were talking to me not about the intricacies of governance in Northern Ireland, but about their lives in their community, and how the Executive and the UK Government could make their lives better. That should absolutely be our focus.

There was an outbreak of consensus between the hon. Member for Foyle and the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon). I had a very enjoyable visit to the latter’s constituency. I met the Portavogie fishermen, who were powerful advocates for what needs to happen to support the fishing sector in Northern Ireland, and I enjoyed my visit to Castle Gardens primary school near the Bowtown estate. The hon. Gentleman, too, talked about health and education. Those are the priorities, and hopefully the stabilising measures we are bringing forward today will ensure that the Executive remains functioning and operational and can get on with those important matters within the devolved space—in particular, the national health service in Northern Ireland, which is under great stress indeed.

Another axis developed during the debate between my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Simon Hoare) and the hon. Member for North Antrim (Ian Paisley). It is a rare thing that they find common ground and consensus. My hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset talked about the six months, and I would say to him that six months is a limit, not a target. We are trying to create maximum space, but we would hope that the Northern Irish parties would want to move quickly.

My hon. Friend suggested that perhaps the agreements were past their sell-by date. It is for the parties in Northern Ireland, if they want to innovate in that space, to get together and talk, but we are very clear that our job is to implement, to arbitrate and to oversee the agreements as they stand. Some of the amendments concerning the titles of First Minister and Deputy First Minister and some of the points made about the changing demographics within Northern Ireland may be things that the parties in Northern Ireland will want to come together to address, but we do not believe it is our role to be forcing that change on the parties in Northern Ireland within the devolved space without their consent.

Other parts of the Bill come, of course, from the requests of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, particularly the revisions around the ministerial code. We have taken what they have said and sought to put it into the Bill. We have also sought to return the petition of concern to the purpose for which it was originally intended and to make it more functional.

This is a straightforward and sensible set of proposals, aimed, as I said, at putting the governance system in Northern Ireland on to a more stable footing, to recognise some of the concerns that have been put to us, to honour the commitments that Her Majesty’s Government entered into in New Decade, New Approach. I commend the Bill to the House.

Stephen Farry Portrait Stephen Farry
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I will make some brief comments in closing the debate. First, I thank everyone who took part and presented their views. It was a largely good-natured debate. I thank in particular those on both Front Benches, including on the Government Front Bench, for their comments in that regard.

There is, shall we say, a certain tension between those who want to faithfully implement New Decade, New Approach—I include myself in that category—and those who acknowledge that we are almost two years on from that point, a lot of politics has happened and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. We must be mindful of the next set of crises that are coming; sadly, this is Northern Ireland, and there is always a crisis around the corner, so we must be mindful to anticipate that in a reasonable way and act ahead of time, for once, rather than having to do so after the crisis emerges.

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Brandon Lewis Portrait The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Brandon Lewis)
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I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

In doing so, I acknowledge the hard work that has got us to this point. I pay tribute to former Secretaries of State for their role in supporting institutions in Northern Ireland during the most recent collapse. As this is the first time I have been at the Dispatch Box since the sad news, I pay particular tribute to James Brokenshire. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Absolutely; I appreciate the comments from across the House. Both as a friend I have known for just over two decades, and in his role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, he showed truly admirable dedication to the people he represented, to colleagues and to friends, and dedication and commitment to the people of Northern Ireland.

I also want to thank hon. Members from all political parties who participated in debating the merits of the Bill. In particular, I thank the shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Louise Haigh), and the shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Alex Davies-Jones), for their diligent scrutiny efforts and broad support for the measures set out in this Bill, and for their comments today.

I also express my thanks to colleagues in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Office of the Speaker of the Assembly, and to those who represent Northern Ireland constituencies in this House, all of whom have contributed to and been part of the work that has led to today, and the negotiations on New Decade, New Approach.

I acknowledge the hard-working civil servants, here in Whitehall and in Belfast. Not only did they support the successful negotiation of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, but they have since helped the progress of the Bill and continually help to deliver on the fundamental commitments made by this Government within that deal—including, I have no doubt, some very late nights supporting my colleague and right hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Julian Smith), who would have put in those hours of effort in the lead-up to the final agreement of this Bill. I say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved.

I reaffirm our view that our Union is strongest when its institutions work well, work together and deliver real change on the issues that matter, as colleagues have mentioned today. For Northern Ireland, that means properly functioning institutions, both in Stormont and Westminster, that allow Stormont to focus on the core issues that, as colleagues across parties have said today, must be focused on. To have one third of the population on a waiting list is not good enough for the Northern Ireland health service. Some 23 years since the Good Friday agreement, only to have approximately 7% of the population benefiting from integrated education is not good enough for the people of Northern Ireland, and we must move further on that together.

The Bill is a focused Bill. It will deliver necessary and well overdue reforms to strengthen the sustainability of institutions in Northern Ireland, update the ministerial code of conduct and reform the petition-of-concern mechanism. These measures, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of State has outlined, were all agreed by the main political parties in Northern Ireland when the Executive were restored, and it would be remiss of us to begin to tweak and change the details here in Westminster without further agreement from the parties. I am confident that those in the Executive and the Assembly will continue to work in the same good faith in which the measures were negotiated, as we in Parliament will; I will come back in a few moments to comments made on that point.

For those reasons, the House should support the Bill’s Third Reading. UK Governments of all colours and types have worked to maintain peace and encourage political stability in Northern Ireland over the decades. I am grateful to the Opposition for welcoming the Bill and the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

The Government accept, however, that this is just one piece of the jigsaw. The positive difference that a restored Executive have made to the people of Northern Ireland is clear to see, despite the great challenges that we have all had as a result of covid-19—particularly as the Executive were restored just days before the covid pressure came upon us all. The past 18 months have demonstrated that a power-sharing Executive can work together under the hardest of circumstances to find compromise and act in the shared interests of all communities in Northern Ireland. The Bill can only empower their capability in that respect.

The Government have listened to and are grateful for all contributions made by Members of this House. I appreciate that it is frustrating for some Members that we have been unable to accept non-Government amendments, despite the great intentions behind them, some of which have been outlined today. That is because many go beyond what was agreed in New Decade, New Approach, although I note the comment from the hon. Member for North Down (Stephen Farry) that we are now two years on and that there are some things in New Decade, New Approach that, as time moves on and we learn more, we need to look at.

But my right hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon is right: we need to focus on delivering what was agreed. As co-guarantors of New Decade, New Approach, we have a duty to ensure that, for all people in Northern Ireland, the measures are delivered as they were agreed upon by the main parties.

Members of this Chamber have expressed eagerness for the delivery of further commitments made under the New Decade, New Approach agreement and will be glad to hear that we have made good progress. For example, we have appointed the Northern Ireland Veterans Commissioner; introduced legislation to further enshrine the armed forces covenant in law; published reports on the use of the petition-of-concern mechanism in the Assembly; contributed to the creation of a new Northern Ireland graduate entry medical school in Derry/Londonderry, which I agree we want to see developed further; and supplemented the new deal for Northern Ireland’s £400 million fund to promote Northern Ireland as a cyber security hub, to name just a few things.

There is more to come. We have made commitments to ensure that areas that were committed to be delivered within the mandate for Stormont will be delivered; a cultural package is part of that, and we will do that. We are proud of the progress made thus far. The UK Government are committed to ensuring that New Decade, New Approach is delivered in full. I reassure hon. Members that further progress will be made in due course.

Both for the Executive and for us, covid has meant decisions being made, and pressure being put on legislative time, on decisions and on work done—we all understand that. As we move out of covid, we want to move quickly and get things done, and I hope that the Executive will be doing the same.

Simon Hoare Portrait Simon Hoare
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May I go back to the cultural package? I think the House’s understanding is very clear as to how my right hon. Friend envisages dealing with the matter. However, is he able to say a little more, not so much about what it might be called as about when we might actually see it, if indeed this place needs to see it—or is it his expectation that Stormont will deliver it?

Brandon Lewis Portrait Brandon Lewis
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My hon. Friend the Chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee highlights an important point. It is still technically possible for the Executive to start a procedure that would allow the package to be delivered within the mandate, which has always been the intent, the focus and the desire for those involved in New Decade, New Approach. As I have said, we are very clear that, if it becomes clear that the Executive are unable to do that, or are not moving it forward, we will bring forward legislation to deliver the cultural package as set out in NDNA—no more, but no less. We will do that; I will not go further than that at the moment.

The purpose of the Bill is to implement what was agreed by all parties in the New Decade, New Approach deal. During the passage of the Bill, including this afternoon, there has been sensible, interesting and well-argued debate on the wider institutions and options in Northern Ireland. I look forward to seeing discussions continue among the Northern Ireland parties and to engaging on these matters with them and with colleagues here, as well as to following discussions in the other place, as the hon. Member for North Down rightly outlined.

Stephen Farry Portrait Stephen Farry
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Could the Secretary of State go slightly further and give an assurance that, if the House of Lords considers potential further reforms, and if soundings from the Northern Ireland political parties show consensus in relation to them, the Government will be open-minded about legislating—either in the Bill, which may be the most obvious opportunity, or in other legislation—to put them into effect, particularly ahead of the next Assembly election?

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Brandon Lewis Portrait Brandon Lewis
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I am always open-minded about listening to ideas and options, particularly for things that come together on which there is agreement between the parties. As others, including my right hon. Friend the Minister of State, have said, the important point is about New Decade, New Approach: the issues that we have dealt with in the Bill were agreed, negotiated and discussed among all the parties in Northern Ireland. We need to see those discussions continuing. If there are things on which all parties agree and on which Westminster is required to legislate, I am very open-minded about looking at them, but there needs to be a discussion that has support in Northern Ireland widely and across the Executive.

We will continue to work closely with the Opposition, the Executive and the parties in Northern Ireland to deliver on the wider promises of our New Decade, New Approach agreement and its commitments for the people of Northern Ireland, including ensuring that we are levelling up as we build back better across the whole United Kingdom. We are resolute—I will continue to be personally resolute and determined—in promoting Northern Ireland’s place in the world, its opportunity and its integral place in and importance to the United Kingdom. In doing so, we will ensure that, with New Decade, New Approach and its commitments, we deliver for all people in Northern Ireland, through New Decade, New Approach and beyond. I commend the Bill to the House.

None Portrait Several hon. Members rose—
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Alex Davies-Jones Portrait Alex Davies-Jones
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Labour helped to secure the precious Belfast/Good Friday agreement, and it remains one of our proudest political legacies. We therefore welcome attempts to safeguard power sharing and improve the sustainability of the Executive, the Assembly and the institutions, which collapsed following a political crisis and took three years to restart.

In Committee and on Report, we outlined at length our concerns about some of the flaws that we saw in the Bill and sought to correct. It is disappointing that those concerns have not been taken on board, particularly as they are likely to be tested sooner or later.

The instability in recent months has been unsettling for all of us who cherish the Good Friday agreement and who believe that its institutions and the principles that underpin it represent the best way forward for Northern Ireland. As ever, that instability has been most keenly felt by the people of Northern Ireland.

Power sharing is the scaffolding of peace. Without it, the Good Friday agreement is fundamentally undermined. It is integral to the trust that communities have in the post-Good Friday agreement landscape, and it underpins the devolution of the powers contained in it. We should not forget the evidence given by Jon Tonge, who reminded us that devolution of power remains overwhelmingly popular: he said that when voters have been asked “What is your preferred mode of governance?”,

“direct rule has never come above 15% as a preferred option. Devolved power sharing is overwhelmingly a preferred option that comes back from…surveys”.––[Official Report, Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Public Bill Committee, 29 June 2021; c. 7, Q5.]

People in Northern Ireland are emerging from one of the most profound health crises that it has ever faced. A third of the entire population are languishing on health waiting lists, nearly 300 children are without a post-primary place for next year’s term and people are recovering from the deepest recession on record. In that scenario, it is unthinkable not to have a functioning Executive. For all political leaders in Northern Ireland, that must be the priority in the coming days and weeks.

It is partly for that reason that the Labour party supports the Bill, but our broader concern relates to the time it has taken to bring the Bill to this stage. We strongly urge the Government to look at how they can fast-track the remainder of its passage. It has now been 22 months since they agreed to implement this legislation to preserve power sharing, and we fear that they are sleepwalking towards a political crisis.

It is also disgraceful that the Secretary of State previously said that we would expect a cultural package and an Irish language Act by the end of October 2021—

Brandon Lewis Portrait Brandon Lewis
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Just to be very clear—the hon. Lady should look back at the record—we have always said that we will deliver a cultural package. There has never been discussion of an Irish language Act; that is not what is in NDNA. It is a cultural package. It is important that the Opposition get their facts right.

Alex Davies-Jones Portrait Alex Davies-Jones
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The House was promised the commissioning of an Irish language Act by the end of October 2021. That is where we are now, and it is nowhere to be seen. The Secretary of State’s refusal to give a date is a disgrace, and a betrayal of the people of Northern Ireland.

This legislation has simply come too late to address the current political instability in Northern Ireland. Given the political crisis there, and the ongoing warnings about the collapse of the Executive, Labour pushed for amendments to ensure that it was implemented without delay. As it stands, even if it were passed before Christmas there would still be a months-long commencement clause, leaving it highly unlikely to be in force to prevent instability in the coming months. We would like to hear a firm commitment from the Secretary of State to fast-tracking it through the House of Lords, and a clear timetable for it being enacted. We cannot wait months when we may have weeks. Will the Secretary of State address that? If so, we will work with him to ensure that the Bill is on the statute book within weeks.

The instability that the Bill in part attempts to address has not emerged out of thin air, and I fear that the delay in bringing it forward is symptomatic of the Government’s approach to Northern Ireland. Too often over the past decade, Northern Ireland has been an afterthought here. As the consequences of decisions taken by Ministers have played out in Northern Ireland, the Government have frequently behaved as though they had found themselves at the scene of an accident entirely beyond their control. Too often, Northern Ireland has been overlooked and the work to deliver on the promise of peace has been allowed to stall.

It would be foolish to assume that the provisions of the Bill alone can guarantee stability; they cannot. To do that, Ministers must address the effects of their own actions, which have shaken faith in Northern Ireland. Progress has stalled and instability has grown. The Belfast/Good Friday agreement has been treated as a crisis management tool, rather than as the vehicle through which lives and communities can be transformed.

Although Labour supports the Bill, we believe that there are several missed opportunities for the Government to refocus on delivering on the promise of peace, which they have allowed to stall. A Bill of Rights, integrated education and housing, women’s rights and giving communities a real say in decision making were the essence of the Good Friday agreement and the shared future that it imagined, but progress on them has been virtually non-existent over the past decade. We do not believe that the instability we see can be separated from the failure to deliver on such commitments. Above all, the way to guarantee stability is to demonstrate that commitments made will be honoured, and that Westminster is still prepared to step up and honour our side of the bargain.

I reiterate our support for the limited measures in the Bill and ask the Secretary of State to speed up the timetable as a matter of urgency, but I wish to make it clear that this is only a start: there is much, much more work to be done.

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Brandon Lewis Portrait Brandon Lewis
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With the leave of the House, I shall briefly sum up. I again thank all colleagues in the House. We have seen throughout today’s discussions, both on Report and on Third Reading, a good, wide range of subjects covered. To build on the point made by the Minister of State, some of those points were about the Bill, which relates to the New Decade, New Approach deal, and I want to touch on them.

As was welcomed when we started deliberations on the Bill, it is the first Bill relating to Northern Ireland that the House has had a chance to consider without operating under emergency processes for some time. As we have seen, we have had a chance to have a good, wide discussion about the issues in the Bill. That is a good thing and has allowed people the opportunity to air and talk about issues that go beyond what was agreed in New Decade, New Approach. As I said earlier, I look forward to continuing those discussions and seeing whether we can find some agreement across all the parties in the Executive to move things forward together.

I say gently to those colleagues who have raised issues as things to be amended today—I make this point to the Opposition Front-Bench spokesperson, the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Alex Davies-Jones)—that when we talk about making sure that we work through consensus and move things forward together in Northern Ireland, that means having all the parties come to an agreement, not just rushing into doing things today. It is right that we have these discussions.

On the package and questions raised by the Chair of the Select Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for North Dorset (Simon Hoare), and others, it is disappointing to see the Opposition, in a well-informed debate that has been good and well-mannered in large part, looking to play politics around these issues. Let us be clear that the cultural package will include a new office for identity and cultural expression, to promote cultural pluralism and inclusion across all identities and cultures, alongside commissioners to protect and enhance the Irish language and develop the language, arts and literature with the Ulster Scots and Ulster British tradition in Northern Ireland. We have already been making progress on those things. When the hon. Member for Pontypridd speaks at the Dispatch Box, she may want to make sure that she has done some research. To help her out, I suggest that she looks back to the written ministerial statement from 21 June, because our position is still as per that statement and we will still be seeking to deliver that, as we promised we would, if the Executive themselves cannot take it forward.

Alex Davies-Jones Portrait Alex Davies-Jones
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Will the Secretary of State give way?

Brandon Lewis Portrait Brandon Lewis
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No—the hon. Lady spoke earlier.

We have already delivered £2 million-worth of a funding package announced earlier this year, including for Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish language broadcast fund and the Ulster-Scots broadcast fund. We will continue to deliver on that, stand by our word and make sure that the cultural package is delivered within the mandate, but this Bill relates to the New Decade, New Approach deal and I look forward to seeing its progress continue in the weeks and months ahead.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.