HC Deb 13 March 1986 vol 93 cc544-5W
Q48. Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Prime Minister (1) if she will take steps to institute an Ulster Grand Committee; and if she will make a statement;

(2) if she will take steps to seek to replace the current procedure for Northern Ireland legislation with a system based on primary legislation applicable throughout the United Kingdom or applicable only to Northern Ireland, as appropriate in the particular circumstances of each case; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

I made it clear on 25 February that I am willing to discuss with leaders of the Ulster Unionist party and the Democratic Unionist party the arrangements for handling Northern Ireland business at Westminster.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Prime Minister if she will seek to arrange an early meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference to be attended by Defence Ministers to arrange staff talks aimed at concerted military action against terrorism on both sides of the border, including specifically co-ordination of military and police intelligence, arrangements for over-flying of the border by the Irish Air Corps, Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps and the pursuit of suspected terrorists across the border by the armed forces of the irish Republic and the United Kingdom, and co-ordination of maritime patrols for the interception of terrorists and their shipments in Irish Republic and United Kingdom territorial waters and on the high seas.

The Prime Minister

The Intergovernmental Conference has already discussed security co-operation and the co-ordination of security force activity on both sides of the border. In both jurisdictions it is the police who have primary responsibility for dealing with terrorism under the law. The Chief Constable and Garda Commissioner have been meeting about a programme of work to be undertaken by their respective police forces aimed at enhancing co-operation in a range of areas. I am satisfied this is the right way of taking forward our mutual interest in eradicating terrorism.