Website Survey - We want your feedback on the Northern Ireland Assembly website. Take our 7 question survey now.

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 13 October 2020

The Assembly met at 10.30am, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.


2. Speaker's Business


2.1 Prior to taking the first item of business, the Suspension of Standing Order 20(1), the Speaker explained that the motion was necessary to allow business to continue at 2.00 pm in the absence of questions to the Minister for Communities. The Speaker also put on record that he was disappointed that no other Executive Minister was able to stand in for the Minister for Communities to respond to questions on her behalf, and highlighted the arrangements put in place to ensure that those Members successful in the ballot would still have the opportunity to put their question to the Minister.


3. Assembly Business

3.1 Motion: Suspension of Standing Order 20(1)

Proposed:

That Standing Order 20(1) be suspended for Tuesday 13 October 2020.

Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr John O'Dowd
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr Robbie Butler
Ms Kellie Armstrong
Ms Clare Bailey

The Question being put, the motion was carried with cross-community support.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

3.2 Motion: Referral to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee

Proposed:

That this Assembly refers to the Assembly and Executive Review Committee under Standing Order 59(3)(b) the matter of the commissioning of an independent review of the adequacy and effectiveness of the Statement of Entitlements for an Official Opposition, as set out in paragraph 3.7 of Annex C of the New Decade, New Approach Deal; agrees that the terms of reference for this review should be agreed jointly by this Committee and the Assembly Commission; and further agrees that the Committee should report on the outcome of this review to the Assembly.

Mr John Blair
Mr Keith Buchanan
Mr Robbie Butler
Mrs Dolores Kelly
Mr John O'Dowd

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried without division.


4. Committee Business

4.1 Motion: Amend Standing Order 45A

Proposed:

Leave out Standing Order 45A and insert –
"(1) Subject to paragraph (3), where, at a time when all Northern Ireland Ministers
ceased to hold office, a party is entitled to nominate a person to hold Ministerial
office under section 18(2) to (6) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and declines to do so, that party may choose to be recognised as part of the official opposition.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), where, during the relevant period, a party is entitled
to nominate a person to hold a Ministerial office under section 18(10) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and declines to do so, that party may choose to be recognised as part of the official opposition.

(3) A party is not to be recognised as part of the official opposition if any member of that party holds a Ministerial office.

(4) Where only one party chooses to be recognised in accordance with paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) that party is to be regarded as the official opposition.

(5) In this order "relevant period" means the period of two years beginning with the date on which the Ministerial offices are filled under 16A(3)(b) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.".

Chairperson, Committee on Procedures

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried with cross-community support (Division).

The Deputy Speaker, Mr McGlone, took the Chair.


5. Private Members' Business

5.1 Motion: Support for the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL] 2019-21

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes Anti-Slavery Day 2020 which seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking today; condemns the crime of human trafficking which tragically happens in our society; welcomes the progress Northern Ireland has made, with the passage of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015, and the work of the Department of Justice, statutory agencies, the PSNI and civil society organisations; calls for consideration of further support for victims of trafficking beyond the end of the support provided under the National Referral Mechanism; and calls on the UK Parliament to pass the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL] 2019-21 which would give confirmed victims of trafficking who find themselves in Northern Ireland, leave to remain for twelve months following the National Referral Mechanism so that they can receive the support they need to recover from their ordeal, and to make it possible for them to think about giving evidence against their traffickers in court, something that is essential to reverse the low conviction rates for traffickers.

Ms Joanne Bunting
Mr Gordon Dunne
Mr Paul Givan

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

The sitting was suspended at 1.06pm.

The sitting resumed at 2.00pm, with the Principal Deputy Speaker in the Chair.


6. Public Petition

6.1 Restoration of Emergency Department at Downe Hospital

Mr Colin McGrath was granted leave, in accordance with Standing Order 22, to present a Public Petition relating to the Restoration of Emergency Department at Downe Hospital.

 

7. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

7.1 Motion: Onshore Petroleum Licencing and Drilling

Proposed:

That this Assembly recognises the moratoria, in various forms, on fracking in England, Scotland and Wales and the ban on fracking in the Republic of Ireland; notes that this motion builds on the 2015 Strategic Planning Policy Statement presumption against the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction in Northern Ireland; acknowledges its responsibility to protect public health and the environment; and calls on the Executive to instigate an immediate moratorium on petroleum licencing for all exploration for, drilling for and extraction of hydrocarbons until legislation is brought forward that bans all exploration for, drilling for and extraction of hydrocarbons in Northern Ireland.

Ms Rachel Woods
Mr Philip McGuigan
Ms Claire Sugden
Mr Jim Wells

Debate ensued.

The debate stood suspended for Question Time.


8. Question Time


8.1 The Executive Office

Questions were put to, and answered by, the First Minister, the Rt Hon Arlene Foster, Mr Gordon Lyons, also answered a number of questions.

The Principal Deputy Speaker took the Chair.


9. Private Members' Business (cont'd)

9.1 Motion: Onshore Petroleum Licencing and Drilling (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

10. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

Mr Thomas Buchanan spoke to his topic regarding the Acute Mental Health facility at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.

The Assembly adjourned at 4.45pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
13 October 2020

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

13 October 2020
Division

Motion: Amend Standing Order 45A

Proposed:

Leave out Standing Order 45A and insert –
"(1) Subject to paragraph (3), where, at a time when all Northern Ireland Ministers
ceased to hold office, a party is entitled to nominate a person to hold Ministerial
office under section 18(2) to (6) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and declines to do so, that party may choose to be recognised as part of the official opposition.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), where, during the relevant period, a party is entitled
to nominate a person to hold a Ministerial office under section 18(10) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, and declines to do so, that party may choose to be recognised as part of the official opposition.

(3) A party is not to be recognised as part of the official opposition if any member of that party holds a Ministerial office.

(4) Where only one party chooses to be recognised in accordance with paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) that party is to be regarded as the official opposition.

(5) In this order "relevant period" means the period of two years beginning with the date on which the Ministerial offices are filled under 16A(3)(b) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.".

Chairperson, Committee on Procedures

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 80
Noes: 5

AYES

NATIONALIST:
Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Mr Catney, Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Mr Durkan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Ms Hunter, Mr Kearney, Ms C Kelly, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms McLaughlin, Mr McNulty, Ms Mallon, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin

UNIONIST:
Dr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mr Butler, Mrs Cameron, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Hilditch, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Stewart, Mr Storey, Mr Swann, Mr Weir

OTHER:
Ms Armstrong, Mr Blair, Ms Bradshaw, Mr Dickson, Mrs Long, Mr Lyttle, Mr Muir
Tellers for the Ayes: Mr T Buchanan, Mr Harvey

NOES

UNIONIST:
Mr Allister, Ms Sugden

OTHER:
Ms Bailey, Mr Carroll, Miss Woods
Tellers for the Noes: Mr Allister, Mr Carroll

Total Votes 85 Total Ayes 80 [94.1%]
Nationalist Votes 38 Nationalist Ayes 38 [100.0%]
Unionist Votes 37 Unionist Ayes 35 [94.6%]
Other Votes 10 Other Ayes 7 [70.0%]

The motion was carried.

The following Members' votes were cast by their notified proxy in this division:

Ms Bradshaw voted for Ms Armstrong, Mr Blair, Mr Dickson, Mrs Long, Mr Lyttle and Mr Muir.

Mr K Buchanan voted for Ms P Bradley, Mr Buckley, Mrs Cameron, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey [Teller, Ayes], Mr Hilditch, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Weir and Mr Weir.

Mr Butler voted for Mr Stewart and Mr Swann.

Mr O'Dowd voted for Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Mr Boylan, Ms Dillon Ms Dolan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Mr Kearney, Ms C Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mrs O'Neill, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan and Ms Sheerin.

Mr O'Toole voted for Ms S Bradley, Mr Catney, Mr Durkan, Ms Hunter, Mrs D Kelly, Ms Mallon, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Ms McLaughlin, Mr McNulty.

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 13 October 2020

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2. Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Main Estimates 2020-21 and Statement of Excesses 2016-17 (Department of Finance)

Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 for the General Teaching Council for NI (Department of Education)

2019-20 Annual Report and Accounts for the Department of Education (Department of Finance)

CJI An Inspection of How The Criminal Justice System Deals With Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking in Northern Ireland (Department of Justice)

Northern Ireland Policing Board Annual Report and Accounts 2019-20 (Northern Ireland Policing Board)

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2020/218 The Planning Act 2011 (Review) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department for Infrastructure)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

8. Consultation Documents

Consultation on Draft Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations (Department for the Economy)

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications


Northern Ireland Assembly Legislation:

Stages in Consideration of Public Bills

First Stage: Introduction of Bill.

Second Stage: General debate of the Bill with an opportunity for Members to vote on its general principles.

Committee Stage (Comm. Stage): Detailed investigation by a Committee which concludes with the publication of a report for consideration by the Assembly.

Consideration Stage (CS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, the details of the Bill including amendments proposed to the Bill.

Further Consideration Stage (FCS): Consideration by the Assembly of, and an opportunity for Members to vote on, further amendments to the Bill.

Final Stage: Passing or rejecting of Bill by the Assembly, without further amendment.

Royal Assent.

Proceedings as 13 October 2020

2017-2022 Mandate
Executive Bills

Title &
NIA Bill Number

First
Stage

Second Stage

Comm. Stage to Conclude

Report Ordered to be Printed

CS

FCS

Final Stage

Royal Assent

Budget Bill (NIA Bill 02/17-22)

24/02/20

25/02/20

/

/

02/03/20

03/03/20

09/03/20

26/03/20

Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill (NIA Bill 03/17-22)

31/03/20

28/04/20

15/10/20

 

 

 

 

 

Private Tenancies (Coronavirus Modifications) Bill (NIA 04/17-22

21/04/20

21/04/20

/

/

28/04/20

/

28/04/20

04/05/20

Budget (No. 2) Bill (NIA 5/17-22)

26/05/20

26/05/20

/

/

01/06/20

02/06/20

02/06/20

17/06/20

Housing Amendment Bill (NIA 6/17-22)

26/05/20

01/06/20

/

/

16/06/20

23/06/20

30/06/20

28/08/20

Pension Schemes Bill (NIA 7/17-22)

23/06/20

07/07/20

29/01/21

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Committee (Functions) Bill (NIA 8/17-22)

06/07/20

06/07/20

/

/

21/07/20

27/07/20

28/07/20

25/08/20

2017-2022 Mandate
Non-Executive Bills

Title &
NIA Bill Number

First
Stage

Second Stage

Comm. Stage to Conclude

Report Ordered to be Printed

CS

FCS

Final Stage

Royal Assent

Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (NIA Bill 01/17-22)

03/02/20

16/03/20

02/12/20

 

 

 

 

 


/ Bills progressing by accelerated passage

PROXY VOTING NOTICES – TUESDAY 13 OCTOBER 2020

The following Members notified the Speaker, under Standing Order 112, that they wished to avail of proxy voting arrangements for the sitting on Tuesday 13 October 2020:

Martina Anderson

Naomi Long

Caoimhe Archibald

Gordon Lyons

Kellie Armstrong

Séan Lynch

John Blair

Chris Lyttle

Cathal Boylan

Nichola Mallon

Sinéad Bradley

Declan McAleer

Paula Bradley

Fra McCann

Jonathan Buckley

Daniel McCrossan

Pam Cameron

Patsy McGlone

Pat Catney

Colin McGrath

Stewart Dickson

Philip McGuigan

Linda Dillon

Maolíosa McHugh

Diane Dodds

Sinead McLaughlin

Jemma Dolan

Justin McNulty

Gordon Dunne

Andrew Muir

Mark Durkan

Karen Mullan

Alex Easton

Conor Murphy

Sinéad Ennis

Robin Newton

Arlene Foster

Carál Ní Chuilín

Órlaithí Flynn

Michelle O’Neill

Colm Gildernew

Edwin Poots

Paul Givan

George Robinson

Deirdre Hargey

Emma Rogan

Harry Harvey

Pat Sheehan

David Hilditch

Emma Sheerin

Cara Hunter

Christopher Stalford

William Irwin

John Stewart

Declan Kearney

Mervyn Storey

Catherine Kelly

Robin Swann

Gerry Kelly

Peter Weir

Liz Kimmins

 

Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs

Search

News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us