HC Deb 25 July 1997 vol 298 c771W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps her Department is taking to persuade the Irish Government to withdraw their territorial claim to Northern Ireland. [7721]

Majorie Mowlam

The Government have consistently made clear their view that a lasting political settlement in Northern Ireland will require a consensus on constitutional issues, reflecting the widespread support which exists for the principle that there can be no change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.

In a speech in Northern Ireland on 16 May, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said that changes to the Irish constitution to reflect the consent principle would be a helpful confidence-building step in advance of any settlement.