§ Mr. Dunlop
asked the Prime Minister if she was consulted before the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ireland made a statement to the effect that Ireland can be united as one nation in perhaps five years' time; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
The answer to the first part of the question is "No". As far as a statement is concerned, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 26 March to the hon. Member for Down, North (Mr. Kilfedder) and to the statement issued on 23 March by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which saidRemarks attributed at the weekend to the Foreign Minister of the Irish Republic, Mr. Lenihan, may give rise to misunderstanding. The joint studies commissioned by Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Haughey are intended to examine matters of common interest between the United Kingdom and the Republic and to improve relations between the two countries. The studies have nothing to do with, nor have they touched on, nor will they touch on, the internal government of Northern Ireland or its constitutional position. The Government and the Prime Minister have repeatedly made this clear".