HC Deb 27 February 1986 vol 92 cc1052-3
4. Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what response he has received from the Government of the Republic of Ireland following the representations which he has made about Ireland acceding to the European convention on the suppression of terrorism.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Nicholas Scott

The Irish Minister for Justice signed the European convention on the suppression of terrorism in Strasbourg on 24 February.

Mr. Gow

What valid reason is known to my hon. Friend for the failure of the Irish Government to accede years ago to the European convention on the suppression of terrorism? What further steps are required to be taken by the Irish Government before the accession becomes operative in the Republic? When does my hon. Friend expect the accession to take effect?

Mr. Scott

It is for the Irish Government to say why they did not sign the convention earlier. The Taoiseach has said that he hopes that the necessary legislation will be on the statute book by the end of this year. I think that it is relevant to point out that the United Kingdom took 18 months between signing and acceding to the convention.

Mr. Benyon

Does my hon. Friend accept that many of us feel that this is a most satisfactory development of the Anglo-Irish agreement?

Mr. Scott

I am sure that the only people who can suffer from this step by the Irish Government are the men of violence in Ireland.