Northern Ireland

NI leaders to discuss devolution future with Commons committee

Stormont Image copyright Thinkstock

Political leaders in Northern Ireland are to address a parliamentary inquiry into the future of UK devolution later.

The Political and Constitutional Committee's inquiry was set up after Scotland voted to remain in the UK in last September's referendum.

Committee members have previously visited Cardiff and Edinburgh.

MPs are holding separate meetings with DUP leader Peter Robinson, SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell, Alliance leader David Ford and UUP leader Mike Nesbitt.

Among the issues the committee is looking at are whether Northern Ireland, England and Wales should be offered the level of devolution discussed in relation to Scotland, and the implications of last month's Stormont House Agreement.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's discussions, Labour MP Fabian Hamilton said: "The committee would like to know from the party leaders what else they think should be devolved to the Northern Ireland administration.

"It's all very well having a devolution settlement, but if that devolution isn't in reality devolution, then it's meaningless.

"We need to know what more needs to be devolved, whether it's tax raising as in the Scottish system, or a further and deeper devolution out of Whitehall to the people here."

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