Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 01 February 2021

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Matter of the Day

2.1 EU Proposal to Invoke Article 16

Mr Jim Allister, under Standing Order 24, made a statement on the EU proposal to invoke Article 16. Other Members were also called to speak on the matter.

3. Public Petition

3.1 Save Barnish Primary School

Mr Philip McGuigan was granted leave, in accordance with Standing Order 22, to present a Public Petition to Save Barnish Primary School.

4. Assembly Business

4.1 Motion: Committee Membership


That Ms Linda Dillon be appointed as a member of the Committee on Procedures; that Ms Karen Mullan replace Ms Carál Ní Chuilín as a member of the Committee for Communities; and that Ms Carál Ní Chuilín replace Mr Pat Sheehan as a member of the Committee for Health.

Mr John O'Dowd
Ms Sinéad Ennis

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

5. Committee Business

5.1 Motion: Report of the Committee for Health on its Inquiry into the Impact of COVID-19 in Care Homes


That this Assembly approves the Report of the Committee for Health on its Inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 in care homes [NIA 59/17-22]; and calls on the Minister of Health to implement the recommendations contained in the Report as part of the ongoing response to protect care home residents during future surges of the pandemic.

Chairperson, Committee for Health

Debate ensued.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

The sitting was suspended at 1.48pm.

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

6. Question Time

6.1 Finance

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Finance, Mr Conor Murphy.

6.2 Health

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann.

7. Committee Business (cont'd)

7.1 Motion: Report of the Committee for Health on its Inquiry into the Impact of COVID-19 in Care Homes (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr McGlone, took the Chair.

The Question being put, the motion was carried.

7.2 Motion: Amend Standing Order 110


After Standing Order 110 insert:

110A: Hybrid Proceedings

(1) Hybrid proceedings are proceedings of the Assembly in which one or more members of the Assembly are present remotely by a video-link hosted on such platform as may be provided by the Assembly Commission.

(2) The Speaker may make provision for hybrid proceedings of the Assembly.

(3) The provision which may be made under paragraph (2) includes—

a. provision for remote participation in debates and in the passage of legislation;

b. provision for remote questions to Ministers and the Assembly Commission;

c. provision for remote statements by Ministers;

d. provision for matters under standing orders 22 and 24;

e. provision for the purposes of preserving order and preventing conduct which could constitute a contempt of court.

(4) Subject to paragraph (5), references in standing orders to "proceedings", "meetings", "sittings", "speaking", "rising to speak", "the chamber", "present in the chamber", and like terms, shall be construed so as to give effect to any provision made by the Speaker under paragraph (2).

(5) Members participating remotely—

a. are not present for the purposes of standing order 9 (quorum); and

b. may not vote remotely, but may vote by proxy (see standing order 112).

(6) In this standing order, "proceedings" do not include committee proceedings.

(7) Save as provided by or under this standing order, hybrid proceedings shall be governed by the practice and standing orders of the Assembly.

Chairperson, Committee on Procedures

Debate ensued.

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

8. Adjournment


That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 4.43pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker

1 February 2021

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 27 January 2021 to 1 February 2021

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

UK Anti-Doping Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 (UK Anti-Doping Limited)

5. Assembly Reports

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2021/14 The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Costs (Executive Determinations) (Modification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for Communities)

SR 2021/15 The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for Communities)

SR 2021/17 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Public Health Advice) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

For information only

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/3 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Department of Health)

SR 2021/16 The Crown Court (Amendment) Rules (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Justice)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

A1 Junctions Phase 2 Road Improvement Scheme (Minister for Infrastructure)

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications


The following Members notified the Speaker, under Standing Order 112, that they wished to avail of proxy voting arrangements for the sitting on Monday 1 February 2021:

Andy Allen

Declan Kearney

Martina Anderson

Dolores Kelly

Caoimhe Archibald

Gerry Kelly

Kellie Armstrong

Liz Kimmins

Rosemary Barton

Naomi Long

Roy Beggs

Gordon Lyons

John Blair

Séan Lynch

Cathal Boylan

Chris Lyttle

Paula Bradley

Nichola Mallon

Sinead Bradley

Declan McAleer

Paula Bradshaw

Fra McCann

Nicola Brogan

Daniel McCrossan

Thomas Buchanan

Patsy McGlone

Jonathan Buckley

Colin McGrath

Pam Cameron

Philip McGuigan

Pat Catney

Maolíosa McHugh

Alan Chambers

Sinead McLaughlin

Stewart Dickson

Justin   McNulty

Linda Dillon

Karen Mullan

Diane Dodds

Conor Murphy

Jemma Dolan

Mike Nesbitt

Gordon Dunne

Robin Newton

Mark Durkan

Carál Ní Chuilín

Alex Easton

Michelle O’Neill

Sinéad Ennis

Edwin Poots

Arlene Foster

George Robinson

Órlaithí Flynn

Emma Rogan

Colm Gildernew

Pat Sheehan

Paul Givan

Emma Sheerin

Deirdre Hargey

Christopher Stalford

Harry Harvey

John Stewart

David Hilditch

Mervyn Storey

Cara Hunter

Robin Swann

William Irwin

Peter Weir