HC Deb 12 March 1981 vol 1000 c996
11. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on which of the official working parties considering possible new institutional structures with the Republic of Ireland officials of his Department are represented.

Mr. Humphrey Atkins

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to the hon. Member for Belfast, East (Mr. Robinson) on 2 February.

Mr. McNair-Wilson

In the discussion about new institutional structures will my right hon. Friend say whether extradition is on the agenda and whether he or those involved in the working parties are considering drawing up either a new agreement or a new treaty with the Republic of Ireland to clarify the situation?

Mr. Atkins

The range of discussions that are taking place was fully covered in my right hon. Friend's statement and in the communique issued after the meeting in Dublin with the Taoiseach. The range of matters which are to be discussed by the two Governments was spelt out there, and officials are currently doing the preparatory work prior to reporting to the Heads of Governments before their next meeting.

Mr. Kilfedder

Will the right hon. Gentleman now come clean with the people of Northern Ireland and state exactly what the guide lines are in the discussions that are taking place in Dublin at the Anglo-Eire study group?

Mr. Atkins

Those guide lines were clearly spelt out in the answer that my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member for Belfast, East on 2 February.

Mr. Stephen Ross

While I welcome the discussions, may I ask the Secretary of State to give us more information about what is taking place in the debate that is now fixed for next Wednesday? Can we be given further information about what progress has been made?

Mr. Atkins

I have no official knowledge of what is happening next Wednesday.

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