Clause 8 - Commencement

Part of Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 6 Gorffennaf 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Stephen Farry Stephen Farry Alliance, North Down 10:30, 6 Gorffennaf 2021

Everyone appreciates that politics in Northern Ireland is extremely fluid—that is probably a massive understatement. We never know what political crisis is around the corner.

This is an excellent Bill, and I am keen to see it implemented as quickly as possible following Royal Assent. I am not conscious of what the reason is for the two-month delay in commencement after Royal Assent, so I would be very grateful if the Minister outlined the Government’s thinking in that regard. I am conscious of the laws of unintended consequences, and while this otherwise excellent piece of legislation is sitting on the statute book, about to be implemented, a situation could emerge to which the implementation of one or another aspect of the Bill was very pertinent. We could have the bizarre situation where these good measures could not be deployed because of the two-month delay. Obviously, New Decade, New Approach was not specific about commencement dates, so it is in the gift of this Committee and subsequently the Chamber to look at them further.