Belfast Telegraph

Sir Reg Empey urges Parades commission negotiations

By Noel McAdam

The failure of the Stormont parties to forge a way forward on parading has lifted any threat to the future of the Parades Commission for the foreseeable future, the Government has confirmed.

And an Ulster Unionist peer has hit out at the lack of progress over the issue and urged new negotiations ahead of the next marching season in the New Year.

Former party leader, Sir Reg Empey, who tabled a question on the issue in the House of Lords, said: “Not only is there no progress, there is no evidence of any discussions.”

Yet a new deal on parading was at the centre of the intense Hillsborough negotiations almost two years ago, which saw agreement on the transfer of policing and justice functions to Stormont.

In a written reply to Sir Reg, the Liberal Democat Lord Shutt of Greetland, who is deputy chief whip in the House of Lords, said: “The Parades Commission is legally responsible for issuing determinations on parades and will continue to do so unless, through a locally agreed solution, new legislation is enacted in Northern Ireland.”

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