What’s Stopping the Assembly from Operating?

David Trimble, in his current role as Conservative peer, has suggested that the NI Assembly could function in the absence of an executive (RTÉ report):

Speaking as peers considered emergency legislation to extend talks on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland, Mr Trimble said the problem at present was forming an executive.

“Well, is an executive absolutely necessary?” he added.

“I would look to what happened with devolution in Wales in its first phase, where there was a corporate assembly without an executive, which functioned and functioned, I think, reasonably effectively.”

Mr Trimble said this system operated for six or seven years before the assembly decided to move to an executive.

He added: “That assembly could continue to function and it would be able to move to having an executive the moment that the parties that presently won’t nominate for an executive shows a willingness to do so.”

David Alderdice, a former leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, said he supported the proposals.

This echoes the Soapbox article by Paul Gosling on 20 Jan:

direct rule ministers should be held accountable by a working Assembly.  There is no reason for the Assembly to not be operational, just because the Executive cannot function.

  • ted hagan

    Somone involved in this piece is getting their Alderdices mixed up.

  • “direct rule ministers should be held accountable by a working Assembly”

    Well maybe they should, but mostly it would just be apportioning blame, whinging, and taking a pop at them’uns. Maybe without the local councils and one unitary authority with a ‘cabinet’ might be considered. But seriously, if they can’t be accountable themselves why should they be given the role of holding others to account?

  • ted hagan

    Loath to say it, but isn’t this the Jim Allister solution?

  • aquifer

    And SF get to blame the Brits for Brexit, austerity, floods, frogs, everything really.

    Sure this is a good idea David?

  • Gopher

    A paid talking shop.

  • Tarlas

    “Mr Trimble said this system operated for six or seven years before the assembly decided to move to an executive.”
    Reminds me of that S Mallon quip.
    Only this time it would be GFA for slow learners

  • Granni Trixie

    Yes, a backward step and admission they can’t do it. Half pay,anyone?

  • file

    Maybe Trimble should read the relevant legislation which prohibits such an event?

  • Barneyt

    Is the assembly now tied to brokenshires agenda? Let’s say Arlene has taken a wee shine to the Irish language and her demons pass. Let’s speculate that SF feels able to move forward with just an Irish language DUP approved act, with the rest to come later, even with Arlene at the helm whilst the rhi scheme investigation unfolds ( ok I’m stretching matters a bit) Can we somehow mobilise prior to June 8th or has the effective Westminster shutdown put paid to this? im guessing Westminster is content to let NI drift until 9th June. Could an earlier reformation of stormont now serve as a thorn in the uk side?