HC Deb 01 December 1994 vol 250 c1326
8. Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the final proposals for constituency boundaries will be published.

Mr. Ancram

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland has stated that it will not be able to report its final recommendations before 1995. My hon. Friend should approach the Boundary Commission itself for further information concerning the timetable.

Mr. Bottomley

Does my hon. Friend agree that, in view of the impartiality of the Boundary Commission and its chairman, the House can rest in confidence that there will not be any intended or, I hope, unintended, political effects of the redesignation of the boundaries in Northern Ireland?

Mr. Ancram

I totally endorse what my hon. Friend has said. The Boundary Commission is responsible to Parliament. It is independent, and that independence must be respected.

Mr. Maginnis

What representations have been made from either the Maryfield secretariat, the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin or Dublin Government Ministers through the intergovernmental council to influence the findings of the Boundary Commission? Will the Minister assure us that he has responded by rejecting any approach and by telling Dublin bluntly that the business which is conducted under the chairmanship of Madam Speaker is none of its business?

Mr. Ancram

That matter has been raised on two occasions at the intergovernmental conference. On both occasions the Irish Government have been reminded of the independence of the commission.

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