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Written Question
Parking: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of on-street car parking charges in (a) Newry, (b) Lisburn, (c) Belfast and (d) Northern Ireland.

Answered by Robin Walker

The provision of car parking is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Therefore, the funding allocated to this specific service is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive to allocate from within the substantial resources provided by the UK Government.

In 2021/22, the UK Government is providing £14.2bn to the Northern Ireland Executive to enable it to deliver public services for the benefit of all people and communities in Northern Ireland. In addition to this, the UK Government is continuing to drive forward investment through a comprehensive and ambitious set of City and Growth Deals across Northern Ireland, and the creation of the UK Community Renewal Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Ownership Fund to create opportunities for further investment in people, communities and infrastructure.




Written Question
Proscribed Organisations: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Dodds of Duncairn (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisations are proscribed under Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000 due to their association with terrorism in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

As set out under Schedule 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and published on gov.uk, the following groups linked to Northern Ireland Related Terrorism are proscribed:

Continuity Army Council

Cumann na mBan

Fianna na hEireann

Irish National Liberation Army

Irish People's Liberation Organisation

Irish Republican Army

Loyalist Volunteer Force

Orange Volunteers

Red Hand Commando

Red Hand Defenders

Saor Eire

Ulster Defence Association

Ulster Freedom Fighters

Ulster Volunteer Force


Written Question
Terrorism: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Robin Walker

The threat from Northern Ireland-Related Terrorism (NIRT) continues to be SEVERE in Northern Ireland (meaning an attack is highly likely). Violent dissident republican groups continue to plan attacks aimed largely against police and prison officers and members of the armed forces. Last week’s despicable attack on a part-time officer and member of police staff is a reminder that there is a small minority whose warped mentality means they remain willing to use violence to advance their agenda.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has our full support in tackling the NIRT threat. The UK Government has provided £160 million over the last five years in Additional Security Funding and has pledged a further £32 million in this financial year.

Paramilitary groups (both loyalist and republican) continue to cause harm, including through brutal attacks against members of their own communities in an attempt to exert control. This Government remains steadfast in supporting ​efforts led by the Northern Ireland Executive to tackle paramilitarism.

We have contributed £25 million of match funding to this area over the last five years and have committed a further £5 million for this financial year and £10 million over three years specifically to support the Communities in Transition project.


Written Question
New Deal for Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Stephen Farry (Alliance - North Down)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what allocations have been made from New Deal for Northern Ireland funding to date.

Answered by Robin Walker

The Government is firmly committed to strengthening the Union, Northern Ireland’s place within it and driving forward economic growth and prosperity into the future.

The £400m New Deal package of funding announced in December 2020, will boost economic growth as well as increasing Northern Ireland’s competitiveness and investment in infrastructure. This builds on the commitment articulated in the Government’s 10 May 2020 Command Paper, The UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The New Deal funding is additional to Northern Ireland’s Barnett share, demonstrating the Government’s firm commitment to Northern Ireland’s economy, and recognising the unique position of Northern Ireland following the UK’s exit from the European Union and the implementation of the Protocol on the ground in Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced on 8 March 2020 that nearly half of the £400m New Deal funding had now been allocated. This includes £23m having been made available to the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy to invest £15m over three years in skills, and £8m over two years to promote trade and investment in Northern Ireland from overseas markets.

The other allocations made so far will develop systems that will support the movement of agrifood products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to be delivered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and to build resilience in medicine supply chains, with the Department of Health and Social Care in the lead to deliver on this priority work.

We will continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to maximise opportunities this funding offers and further decisions will be made in due course on how the remainder of this fund will be allocated.


Written Question
Veterans: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Mike Penning (CON - Hemel Hempstead)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to publish legislative proposals on ending vexatious claims against Northern Ireland veterans to ensure that there is equal treatment of Northern Ireland veterans and those who served overseas as outlined in his Written Statement of 18 March 2020, Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, HCWS 168.

Answered by Robin Walker

The Government has been clear that it will bring forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of investigations. We are engaging with a wide range of stakeholders as part of this process and are committed to making progress as quickly as possible.


Written Question
Terrorism: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles on the intro-duction of legislation to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The Government remains committed to bringing forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles and fully recognises the importance of engaging with victims groups and other key stakeholders as part of this process.

A number of ministerial and official level meetings on legacy issues have recently taken place with victims groups, including the Victims and Survivors Forum and groups funded under the Victims and Survivors Service’s Victims Support Programme.

The Government is committed to publishing a list of ministers’ meetings with external organisations, including those with victims groups, on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on Gov.UK.


Written Question
Economic Situation: Northern Ireland
29 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Hay of Ballyore (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what steps they are taking to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to encourage the recovery of the Northern Ireland economy.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The UK Government is committed to levelling up and promoting economic growth across the whole of the UK to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has already taken steps to support individuals and businesses in Northern Ireland by providing £3.8bn funding to the Executive to help fight coronavirus.

In addition, Northern Ireland businesses and individuals have benefited from UK-wide support measures such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which have both been extended to September 2021. The UK Government has also provided over £1.3bn in government-backed loan schemes to businesses in Northern Ireland, protecting jobs across the region.

The Government is also driving forward investment in Northern Ireland. We are delivering a comprehensive and ambitious set of City and Growth Deals across Northern Ireland, which will help key sectors to flourish, committing more than £600m to this program. In February, the UK Government signed the Heads of Terms on the Derry/Londonderry and Strabane City Deal, which will support a range of projects in the North West region. We are also investing £400m to support the NI economy through the New Deal for Northern Ireland and have committed over £500m to the PEACE PLUS programme, which will carry out vital work that promotes peace and reconciliation and contributes to the cross-border economic and territorial development of the region.

The Government has also recently announced the creation of several new funds, which will create opportunities for further investment in people, communities and infrastructure. This includes the UK Community Renewal Fund, the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Ownership Fund, each of which, organisations in Northern Ireland will be able to bid into specific funding.

All of this additional funding comes on top of £2bn of support for the New Decade, New Approach Agreement and measures to help traders navigate new arrangements as part of the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol.

The Government welcomes the Executive’s roadmap to recovery and we want to see Northern Ireland realise its economic potential. We will continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to maximise opportunities for economic recovery and growth, both now, in Northern Ireland’s Centenary year, and in the long-term.



Written Question
UK Trade with EU: Northern Ireland
27 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with ministers at the Northern Ireland Assembly about the impact that the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has had on the current situation in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland remains in close and continued contact with Northern Ireland’s party leaders. The Government welcomes the unity that the Executive has shown in opposing the recent disorder.

It is clear that the factors behind the recent disorder are complex and multifaceted. The answer to these issues lies in dialogue, engagement, and the democratic process; not through violence or disorder.

The Protocol was designed to protect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and to safeguard the gains of the peace process. There are outstanding issues with the Protocol which need to be addressed in order to restore confidence on the ground and minimise the impact on day-to-day lives of the people in Northern Ireland. The measures taken in March this year were temporary, operational steps intended to minimise disruption in Northern Ireland and protect the everyday lives of the people living there. We are working intensively with the EU to address these and working hard to ensure the effective operation of the Protocol, including through tailored support for businesses.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Northern Ireland
27 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the funding they have allocated to mental health services in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The UK Government recognises the importance of ensuring proper provision of, and access to, mental health services right across the UK.

Health services are devolved in Northern Ireland. The funding allocated to this specific service is therefore a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive to allocate from within the substantial resources provided by the UK Government.

The UK Government is providing funding of £14.2bn to the Executive in 2021/22, and we would of course be supportive of them allocating some of this funding for these vital services.


Written Question
Civil Disorder: Northern Ireland
26 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) ongoing civil unrest, and (2) political situation, in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The sporadic, localised disorder which we have seen in Northern Ireland is completely unacceptable, and it is clear that the factors behind it are complex and multifaceted.

The Ministerial team in the Northern Ireland Office have been in close contact with political and community leaders in Northern Ireland and it is clear that the only way to resolve differences is through dialogue.

The Government commend the Northern Ireland Executive for how they have worked collectively in handling the recent unrest, and welcomed their joint statement on 8 April that set out a common position from all Executive parties against the violence and declared their support for law and order and policing.


Written Question
Infrastructure: Northern Ireland
23 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Dodds of Duncairn (DUP - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the National Infrastructure Commission about infrastructure development in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The Prime Minister announced the Union Connectivity Review on 3 October 2020. The review, which is chaired by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, aims to support the Government's work to build a stronger, fairer economy for the future by establishing how the quality and availability of transport infrastructures can support economic growth and quality of life across the whole of the UK. The review is considering transport connectivity between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland via road, rail and air, and across the Irish Sea.

Sir Peter Hendy is being supported by an advisory panel of experts, which includes a Commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission. The terms of reference for the review also ask Sir Peter to consult widely with relevant government agencies, including the National Infrastructure Commission, alongside the devolved administrations, local authorities and their infrastructure commissions.

The Union Connectivity Review interim report was published on 10 March 2021 and the final report will be published in the summer. The Government will carefully consider the report and recommendations.


Written Question
Northern Ireland Government
23 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on the New Decade, New Approach commitments, announced in January 2020.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The New Decade, New Approach deal reached in January 2020 includes a balanced package of commitments to deliver more transparent and sustainable institutions in Northern Ireland. The UK Government has already delivered a number of our key commitments including:

  • The release of £556 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal;
  • The appointment of a Veteran’s Commissioner in September 2020;
  • The launch of the programme for the Centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 and including 39 successful bids from the £1million Shared History Fund;
  • The establishment of the governance structures that underpin New Decade, New Approach, namely the Joint Board and the Implementation Review Meetings.

The UK Government works closely with Northern Ireland’s political leaders to support them in making the devolved institutions work and where appropriate, in delivering their commitments within NDNA.


Written Question
Levelling Up Fund: Northern Ireland
23 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on regional inequality of the funding for Northern Ireland provided through the Levelling Up Fund.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The UK Government is committed to levelling up across all parts of the United Kingdom to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

We are taking a different approach to delivering the Fund in Northern Ireland, which takes account of the different local government landscape compared to England, Scotland and Wales. By treating Northern Ireland as one geographical area, we will ensure all communities have equal access to apply for the Fund.

For the first round of funding, at least 3% of total UK allocations will be set aside for Northern Ireland.

The deadline to submit bids for the first round of the fund is noon on Friday 18 June 2021.


Written Question
Belfast Agreement
23 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the implementation of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

This Government remains fully committed to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and ensuring that all obligations under it continue to be met. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement provided a foundation for peace and a framework for prosperity for Northern Ireland.

The 10th April marked 23 years since the signing of the Agreement. In that time there has been a transformative change in Northern Ireland where peace has brought stability and opportunities, and enabled Northern Ireland to develop into the vibrant place it is today.


Written Question
British Irish Intergovernmental Conference
23 Apr 2021

Questioner: Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date they plan to hold the next British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

Answered by Viscount Younger of Leckie

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference is an important element of Strand Three of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, and stands to promote bilateral cooperation at all levels on all matters of mutual interest within the competence of the UK and Irish Governments.

We will of course look for the appropriate time for the next BIIGC, especially in the context of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the UK and Ireland, now that we have left the EU.