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Northern Ireland experts questioned for the Union and devolution inquiry

21 January 2016

The Constitution Committee hears from experts and political parties in Northern Ireland on the Union and devolution inquiry.


Wednesday 27 January in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

First panel

At 10.30am

  • Lord Empey, Ulster Unionist Party

Second panel

At 11.15am

  • Professor Arthur Aughey, University of Ulster
  • Professor Derek Birrell, University of Ulster
  • Professor Colin Harvey, Queen's University, Belfast

Third panel

At 12.15pm

  • Mark Durkan MP, Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

Possible questions

Possible questions the Committee may put to the witnesses include:

  • The UK has been described as a ‘state of unions'. How does Northern Ireland's union differ from those of Wales and Scotland? How does Northern Ireland's relationship with the Republic of Ireland affect its union with the rest of the UK?
  • Would attempts to set out common principles of the Union be disruptive for the political settlement in Northern Ireland? If not, would a new statute or charter of the Union be an appropriate vehicle for these principles?
  • Does the existence of a separate Northern Ireland Civil Service affect its relationship with the UK Government and other devolved administrations?
  • Should Northern Ireland be considered alongside Wales, Scotland and England in discussions of the future of devolution, or is the situation there too distinct for a UK-wide perspective to be appropriate?

Further information

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