Examination of Witness

Part of Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 29 Mehefin 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Howson-Smith:

The intention was never that they would be able to make—yes, it depends how you define significant decisions, but the intention was always that there would be sufficient checks either within the Executive or by the Secretary of State that would mean that there was not the kind of significant decisions that would have broader implications for the cross-community nature of those decisions. I am concerned that you have characterised it as limping on. I take your point, but the reality is that it was supposed to just provide that bit of additional flexibility to the Ministers and in forming the Executive, where those decisions have been difficult to make or have not happened because the time periods are so short and perhaps it was not in everyone’s political interest to form an Executive within that short period of time. So yes, obviously, there is a flip side to that, but clearly there is also opportunity to avoid the type of situation that we fell into in 2017, where an Executive just is not formed for a long period of time because there is an election and then there has to be a series of talks processes to get the Executive and the Assembly back up and running.