Decommissioning and Prisoner Releases — 9 Dec 1998

I beg to move,

That this House supports the Belfast Agreement and reasserts that the Agreement has to be implemented in all its parts; believes that several things must happen in parallel in order to build confidence, whether it be decommissioning or the release of prisoners; notes that the only organisations that can qualify to take seats in the government of Northern Ireland and can expect the early release of prisoners are those that have given up violence for good and that decommissioning is part of that; notes that since July over 200 terrorist prisoners have been released early while decommissioning of illegally held arms and explosives has yet to begin; and believes that there should be no further early releases of prisoners, and no place in the Northern Ireland Executive for their representatives in the Assembly, until there has been substantial and verifiable decommissioning.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

"recognises that the Good Friday Agreement represents an historic opportunity to bring agreed government and political stability to Northern Ireland; acknowledges the progress which has been made by the British and Irish Governments and the Northern Ireland parties in reaching and implementing the Agreement; and believes the only way forward for the people of Northern Ireland to find lasting peace is for the Governments and the parties to move urgently to implement every aspect of the Agreement in full."

They set the stage in terms of the agreement and, particularly, of two aspects of the agreement which the right hon. Member for Bracknell mentioned--decommissioning and prisoner releases--and to which the Opposition motion refers. They made those difficult choices, which started the process of bringing us to where we are today.

I suspect that some hon. Members would say that that is an understatement.

There are five pledges. The last two are worthy of consideration:

"Those who use or threaten violence excluded from the Government of Northern Ireland",

Question , That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 142, Noes 376.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 140 (+2 tell)087.7%
Independent1 00100.0%
Lab330 (+2 tell) 0079.6%
LDem40 0087.0%
PC2 0050.0%
SDLP1 0033.3%
SNP2 0033.3%
UUP0 2020.0%
Total:376 142080.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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