§ Lord Laird
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What difficulty arose regarding the number of Northern Ireland representatives within the United Kingdom delegation for the British-Irish Council Summit, noted in paragraph 3 of a document entitled North/South British Irish Council Issues, Meeting 14 November 2002.[HL1401]
§ Baroness Amos
The issue which arose related to the composition of the United Kingdom Government delegation attending the British-Irish Council [BIC] summit meeting on 22 November 2002. This was the first BIC summit to be held following suspension of the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland and there was a need to reconcile the constraints on the size of the United Kingdom delegation with the fact that that delegation had to represent interests in the absence of Ministers from the devolved Northern Ireland Administration.