§ Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton
The Government have today exchanged letters with the Irish Government to bring the agreement establishing the Independent Monitoring Commission into force. The final draft of the agreement was placed in the Library of the House on 4 September 2003. Following signature on 25 November 2003, the agreement was published as Command Paper Cm 6068 and laid before Parliament on 3 December 2003 in accordance with the Ponsonby "rule".
Both Governments have been committed to doing all they can to ensure that the commission can begin its work as early as possible. We are confident that in agreeing an early date for entry into force with the Irish Government—before the 21 days required by the Ponsonby "rule" have elapsed—we have acted with the will of the House.