Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill: Commons stages

18 July 2019

MPs debated Lords amendments to Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill in the House of Commons on Thursday 18 July 2019.

Consideration of Lords amendments

MPs debated Lords Amendments to the Northern Ireland Executive Formation) Bill. Some MPs continued to express concern that some of the amendments to the Bill were about Brexit, rather than Northern Ireland, while others felt that abortion and equal marriage related amendments infringe on Northern Ireland's devolved rights.

The House of Commons voted to amend Lords Amendment 1, which would make it more difficult for the Government to prorogue Parliament in the run up to October 31, the day on which the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. The amended Amendment was subsequently approved and the Bill now returns to the House of Lords for further consideration.

The other amendments were subsequently approved by division. 

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill

Summary of the Bill

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill was introduced in the Commons on 4 July 2019. This short Bill amends Section 1 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 to extend the period provided in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 for Northern Ireland Ministers to be appointed following the Assembly election held on 2 March 2017 to 21 October 2019. It also imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to report on progress towards the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

The Library has published a briefing paper for the Bill.

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill: previous stages

Committee of the Whole House and Remaining Stages

MPs debated the Committee, Report and Third Readings stages of the Bill on Tuesday 9 July 2019. 

A number divisions took place at Committee stage and as a result a number of amendments were made to the Bill; including a clause which require UK secondary legislation to extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland unless an Executive is formed by 21 October 2019, and a clause which requires secondary legislation to be laid relating to the abortion rights of women in Northern Ireland. The Bill passed Third Reading without a division and passed to the Lords for further consideration.   

Second reading

MPs debated the Second Reading of the Bill on Monday 8 July 2019. The Bill completed its Second Reading without a division. 

Image: PA

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