Northern Ireland Office
NI party-to-party dialogue in roundtable discussion with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP yesterday met NI parties to discuss the issues caused by ongoing governance gap in Northern Ireland, the UK-EU negotiations on the NI Protocol and NI’s challenging budgetary situation.
In attendance were Emma Little-Pengelly MLA and Gordon Lyons MLA of the DUP, Mary Lou McDonald TD and Michelle O’Neill MLA of Sinn Féin, Naomi Long MLA and Stephen Farry MP of Alliance, and Doug Beattie MC MLA and Steve Aiken MLA of the UUP, and Claire Hanna MP and Matthew O’Toole MLA of the SDLP.
During the meeting, the Secretary of State set out the next steps concerning Executive formation, following the introduction of legislation in Parliament yesterday extending the period for formation by one year to 18 January 2024. The legislation will also enable the Government to bring this new period to an early end and move to elections sooner, if it becomes necessary.
During discussions about governance in NI, the Secretary of State informed the parties that the quickest and simplest way to implement Dáithí’s Law is to affirm the legislation in the NI Assembly. He has written to the NI parties with a step by step guide to how they can achieve this.
Discussions also reflected upon the recent passing of the 2022/2023 Northern Ireland Budget Bill as well as the priorities and challenges for 2023/2024 NI Budget with the Secretary of State stating that he will shortly be setting the NI Regional Rate for the next financial year.
The meeting ended with the Secretary of State stressing the importance of restoring the Executive in the interests of people in Northern Ireland.
Commenting after the meeting, Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris said:
It is disappointing that further legislation to extend the period for Executive formation has had to be introduced but I am aware that many people in Northern Ireland are not in favour of another Assembly election at this time.
I’ve been encouraged by my discussions with the parties but there is no doubt that the absence of a devolved government is having an impact on Northern Ireland with important legislation and public services impacted by the lack of an Executive.
My priority remains the restoration of fully-functioning power-sharing institutions and I will continue to work with the NI parties to ensure this happens as soon as possible.
Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ni-party-to-party-dialogue-in-roundtable-discussion-with-the-secretary-of-state-for-northern-ireland
Latest News from
Northern Ireland Office
New requirements for Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum in Northern Ireland06/06/2023 15:15:15
The UK Government is updating the requirements for Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum in Northern Ireland.
British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) June 202305/06/2023 15:20:00
The UK Government will host the next meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 19 June 2023.
Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement completes tour of Northern Ireland02/06/2023 16:15:00
The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement has concluded its 800 mile tour across Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of its signing,
Secretary of State announces £5m legacy memorialisation fund and digitisation project01/06/2023 09:05:00
The UK Government has committed £5m to support the recommendations of a memorialisation strategy that will be commissioned through the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill currently progressing through Parliament.
Northern Ireland (Interim Arrangements) Act 2023 prevents governance gap in Executive’s absence25/05/2023 14:15:00
The Northern Ireland (Interim Arrangements) Act, which received Royal Assent yesterday (24 May 2023), also allows the UK Government to explore, with the Northern Ireland Civil Service, options for budget sustainability.
28 SITES IN NI SHARE £600,000 UK GOV GRASSROOTS INVESTMENT22/05/2023 14:15:00
More people in NI will have the opportunity to get involved in sport thanks to the UK Gov investing £600,000 in multisport grassroots facilities through the IFA.
Northern Ireland Secretary announces 2023-24 Budget and contingency plans for governance28/04/2023 14:15:00
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has set a budget for 2023-24 and introduced legislation to ensure public services can continue to function in the absence of an NI Executive.
Consultation response on Non-Jury Trials in Northern Ireland25/04/2023 11:15:00
Government response to Consultation on Non-Jury Trials in Northern Ireland.