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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Councillor Finlay send open letter to PM on N.I. Bill
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DUP Councillor John Finlay has written an open letter to the PM on the recent introduction of the ‘Northern Ireland Bill’ into the House of Commons.

The letter reads,

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“Dear Prime Minister, I am writing to express my deep concern about the manner in which the Northern Ireland (Executive Functions) Bill was introduced in the House of Commons last week.

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This Bill should never have been subject to the fast-track procedure and your Secretary of State for Northern Ireland must take responsibility for that. But the main issue that I and many others in Northern Ireland have is the fact that the Bill was deliberately abused by self-seeking MPs to insert amendments in relation to same-sex marriage and abortion.

The Speaker should not have accepted these amendments. They will not be subject to any scrutiny or consultation, and it is no surprise that the constitutional validity of the abortion amendment is now under the spotlight.

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The reason being given for Westminster’s intervention is that we do not have devolution and that action must therefore be taken, but this is a disingenuous and entirely spurious argument.

You will, I am sure, appreciate that the people of Northern Ireland, right across the community divide, have strongly held views on both these issues and, on those grounds alone, it is entirely inappropriate for decisions to be taken on them by Westminster. Such action flies in the face of the whole principle of devolution, and is, in a sense, direct rule by stealth. Despite the absence of devolution, these local issues must not be handled by Westminster, and I urge you to take whatever measures you can to stop this current mockery of the democratic process.

Finally, although I have often disagreed strongly with your handling of Brexit, you are soon to step down as Prime Minister and leader of your party, and I want to wish you well for the future.”

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