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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 4 December 2002


British-Irish Council Summit

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. John Prescott): The British-Irish Council's fourth summit was held in New Lanark on 22 November. My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House led the UK delegation on my behalf, as I was unable to attend due to the current fire dispute. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and my right hon. Friends the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office were also members of the UK delegation.

The Council noted with regret the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive and looked forward to the restoration of the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland, established under the Agreement, as soon as possible in advance of the scheduled elections.

The main issue for discussion was Social Inclusion, with a particular focus on Financial Inclusion, and the Council agreed a programme to take forward joint working in this area. I have placed a copy of the Council's communique in the Libraries of the House.

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List of Delegates
First MinisterThe Rt Hon Jack McConnell MSP
Minister for Social JusticeMargaret Curran MSP
Permanent Secretary, Scottish ExecutiveSir Muir Russell, KCB
Irish Government
TaoiseachBertie Ahern TD
Minister for Social and Family AffairsMary Coughlan TD
Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public WorksTom Parlon TD
British Government
President of the Council and Leader of the House of CommonsThe Rt Hon Robin Cook MP
Secretary of State for Northern IrelandThe Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP
Financial Secretary to the TreasuryRuth Kelly MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland OfficeDes Browne MP
Welsh Assembly Government
First MinisterThe Rt. Hon Rhodri Morgan AM
Deputy First MinisterMichael German, OBE AM
Minister for Finance, Local Government & CommunitiesEdwina Hart MBE AM
President of the Policy and Resources CommitteeSenator Pierre Horsfall OBE
Chief Executive, Policy and Resources DepartmentJohn Mills
President, Advisory and Finance CommitteeDeputy Laurie Morgan
Chief Executive, Advisory and Finance CommitteeMike Brown
Isle of Man
Chief MinisterHon Richard Corkill MHK
Minister for Health and Social SecurityHon Clare Christian MLC

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