This bill enacts the joint statement made by Tony Blair and the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on 6 April 2006.
Responsible department: Northern Ireland office
Introduced: 20 April 2006
Second reading: 26 April 2006
Committee stage: 27 April 2006
Report stage: 27 April 2006
First reading: No date
Remaining stages:8 May 2006
ROYAL ASSENT: 8 May 2006
The bill calls Assembly members to sit at Stormont and participate in a process to select a Northern Ireland Executive, comprising a First Minister, a deputy First Minister and Northern Ireland Ministers under the d'Hondt system. If the process is successful, full restoration of devolved government will take place.
If this is successful, the bill allows a restoration order to be tabled in Parliament allowing executive powers to be devolved. When this happens, the next Northern Ireland Assembly elections, currently scheduled for May 2007, will be postponed until May 2008.
In the event of failure to elect the executive before 25th November 2006, the Bill provides for the immediate indefinite postponement of the May 2007 election. The Assembly would also cease to exist on 25th November MLAs will be dissolved formally in May 2007.
Members of the Northern Ireland assembly would cease to receive their salaries and allowances if attempts to elect an Executive by 24 November 2006 are unsuccessful
This short emergency bill is being pushed through the House of Commons in a week to clear the way for the Northern Ireland Assembly to be reinstated on 15th May.