HC Deb 08 December 1997 vol 302 cc424-5W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her answer of 25 July 1997,Official Report, column 773, on the Irish Government's territorial claim to Northern Ireland, what steps her Department has taken subsequently to establish confidence-building measures in respect of the Irish constitutional claim to Northern Ireland. [18934]

Marjorie Mowlam

Constitutional issues have been discussed by the two Governments in meetings as part of the talks process. The Government have always made clear their view that there is a need for amendments to relevant constitutional legislation, reflecting the widespread support which exists for the consent principle in all its aspects.

The Government remain of the view, expressed by the Prime Minister in his speech in Northern Ireland on 16 May, that changes to the Irish constitution to reflect the principle of consent would be a helpful confidence-building step in advance of any settlement.