a year after restoration..

As the NIO statement on the Queens speech today says, “There are two NIO led Bills in the legislative programme, namely, the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill and the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Bill.” The BBC report points to yet another transitional assembly being created. And the Commons Leader’s website has some information on one of those Bills – no real detail yet – that is of relevance to my previous post, as well as the general policing debate.

It places duties on a restored Executive to develop strategies relating to Irish and Ulster Scots language and to poverty and social exclusion, as well as to report to the Secretary of State a year after restoration on progress towards the devolution of policing and justice matters.

From the Commons Leader’s website

Northern Ireland Bill

Key Benefits
The Bill gives legislative effect to those elements of the St Andrews Agreement that require primary legislation and thereby paves the way for the restoration of the devolved institutions in Northern Ireland on 26 March 2007.

It will cement a deal to secure the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland and therefore has the potential to be the foundation stone of a new Northern Ireland.

The Bill provides for transitional arrangements to be put in place between 24 November and the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

It amends the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in relation to the operation of the institutions of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, providing for a statutory Ministerial Code.amendments to the pledge of office and changes to the procedure for appointing First and deputy First Ministers.

It places duties on a restored Executive to develop strategies relating to Irish and Ulster Scots language and to poverty and social exclusion, as well as to report to the Secretary of State a year after restoration on progress towards the devolution of policing and justice matters.

That would seem to suggest that while there may be a target set, and the Secretary of State may want to meet it, the quadruple lock on the devolving of powers on policing and justice described in existing legislation will remain in place.

Which brings us back to the question posed by Frank Millar in today’s Irish Times

, ,

  • Ian

    Don’t the IMC have as part of their remit, to report on whether or not parties in the Executive/Assembly have fulfilled their commitments to work all the institutions?

    This obviously hasn’t come into play so far in the lifetime of the IMC, but it was designed to stop the Unionists playing silly beggars with nominations to North-South meetings.

    However, in a year’s time could the IMC report that the DUP are not living up to their duty under this new piece of legislation, if they haven’t by then agreed an institutional model and/or a date for devolution of policing/justice matters?

    If so, will SF (who up to now have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the IMC) look to the IMC to recommend sanctions against the DUP for failing in their duty to uphold the institutions?

  • Doreen

    I am so sick of this. Peter Hain said the Assembly would be closed down on 24 November if there were not nominations for the posts of First Minister and his deputy. Fair enough, that was never on the cards. Let it all go. Please! Who wants any of that shower to rule Northern Ireland, especially with half of what might be termed the Opposition, Seamus Close, so disillusioned that he will not stand for re-election, no longer there?

    I do not want “interim arrangements”. I have had more than enough of this fluff, flannel and incompetence. I want people to call a spade a spade and stick to their definition of “spade”.

    I have had enough warnings from consumer programmes to “read between the lines” to know that I should not have to do that: either it is right or it is wrong. If it is wrong, it should be rejected with John Taylor’s 40 foot bargepole; if it is right Ian paisley and Peter Robinson should be selling it up front and gladly to us all.

    All I am seeing is the ovens /hob at the ready.

    Doreen.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Be interesting to see those reports on progress towards devolution of policing & justice.

    In 2007 there was no progress
    In 2008 there was no progress
    In 2009 there was no progress
    In 2010 there was no progress
    In 2011 there was no progress
    In 2012 there was no progress
    In 2013 there was no progress
    In 2014 there was no progress
    In 2015 there was no progress
    In 2016 there was supposed to be a united Ireland, but there wasn’t any progress on that either.

  • George

    Carson’s cat,
    you are most likely right which I sometimes think suits the Irish government just fine. The longer the better for them.

    No agreement on policing means no Sinn Fein in government south of the border for the foreseeable future. That will do nicely for the powers that be in Dublin.

    It means 10 seats sidelined indefinitely so Fianna Fail are almost guaranteed to remain in power.

    As for your 2016 references, unionists should always bear in mind that the people of the Irish Republic certainly won’t be supporting any united Ireland with Sinn Fein at the helm.

    Even Fine Gael, the oft-maligned “crypto-unionists” of the Republic, put up their new website recently, going back to their “roots” with Fine Gael the United Ireland Party as the logo. They took it back down again for some reason.

    There is more than the Sinn Fein bear in the united Ireland wood.

  • David

    The government lacks the backbone to carry out the threat to shut it down. Pathetic.