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Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill completes passage through Parliament

6 December 2022

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The House of Lords completed its check of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill during second reading and all remaining stages, on Monday 5 December. The bill received Royal Assent on Tuesday 6 December and is now an Act of Parliament (law).

The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill will extend the period following the Northern Ireland Assembly election of 5 May 2022 during which executive ministers may be appointed, clarify civil service powers in the absence of ministers and allow the UK goverment to determine salaries for Assembly members when the Assembly is not functioning and set the regional and non-domestic rates in Northern Ireland.

Debate on the draft law

During second reading members debate the main purpose and principles of the bill.

Members speaking

Lord Caine (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government. 

Members speaking in the debate included: 

  • Lord Bew (Crossbench), professor of Irish politics, Queen's University, Belfast
  • Lord Bruce of Bennachie (Liberal Decmocrat), former Lords Liberal Democrats spokersperson for Northern Ireland
  • Lord Lexden (Conservative), former political advisor to the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick (Labour), director of Co-operation Ireland and advisory board chair of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Lord Weir of Ballyholme (DUP), former member, Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue, made his maiden speech in the House of Lords during the debate.

Watch and read the debate

Find out more about the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.  

Line by line examination

Committee stagethe first chance for line by line examination of the bill, took place after second reading.

Proposed changes

Members speaking at committee stage considered an amendment (change) to the bill on allowing government discretion to set a later deadline for the filling of Ministerial offices.

The bill's remaining stages in the Lords - report stage and third reading - took place on the same day. Members discussed the passage of the bill at the conclusion of its Lords stages.

Explore further information

Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill briefing.

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