HC Deb 16 October 2002 vol 390 c893W
Dr. Naysmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport into which of the north/south implementation bodies established as part of the British-Irish Agreement the Commissioners for Irish Lights has been incorporated. [73396]

Mr. Jamieson

The Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland establishing Implementation Bodies of 8 March 1999, provides that one of the North/South Implementation Bodies, the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission, will exercise the existing functions of the Commissioners of Irish Lights in respect of providing and maintaining aids to navigation along the coast of the whole of the island of Ireland and its adjacent seas and islands. The Agreement provides that the legislation required to transfer those functions to the Body will be brought forward as soon as possible.

However, following consideration of the matter by a working group of officials from my Department, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and relevant Irish Government Departments, it has become apparent that complex issues surround such a transfer. The North/South Ministerial Council has asked the relevant Ministers and Departments in the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government to examine the alternative possibilities and bring back proposals to the Council.