New Clause 1 - Report on implementation of The New Decade, New Approach Deal

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 Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office 10:30, 6 Gorffennaf 2021

Before I comment on the new clause, I want to correct an error I made in my closing speech on Second Reading on this issue, when I stated that the Government have released £556 million of £2 billion-worth of funding agreed in the NDNA deal. I want to put on record that to date, the Government have released over £700 million of the £2 billion funding agreed over a five-year period.

The Government made good progress on the delivery of commitments under the New Decade, New Approach deal. We provided support for the resolution of the nurses’ pay dispute by securing the advance drawdown of funding. The revision of immigration rules governing how people in Northern Ireland bring family members to the UK took effect from August 2020. The appointment of a Veterans Commissioner took effect in September 2020. The launch of the programme for the centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021, supported by £1 million from the shared history fund, and regulations to bring Union flag-flying days in line with guidance in the rest of the UK, came into force in December 2020.

I am grateful to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which has been scrutinising NDNA delivery closely, and we continue to welcome that. In “New Decade, New Approach Agreement: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of Session 2019-21”, the Government were supportive of the Committee’s recommendations to produce an annual report and offered to explore this further with the joint board. The Secretary of State also offered to attend a one-off oral evidence session before the Committee to discuss implementation of the New Decade, New Approach deal.

Given the commitments the Government have already made to bring forward reports and offer further discussions on implementation, as well as the existing scrutiny function in NIAC, we do not consider it necessary at this stage to lay a further report on the NDNA agreement. I ask the hon. Lady to withdraw her amendment.