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Northern Ireland Bill
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Make provision for the suspension of devolved government in Northern Ireland and the exercise of certain functions conferred by or under Part V of the Northern Ireland Act 1998; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

Suspension of devolved government in Northern Ireland.     1. - (1) While this section is in force, the Northern Ireland Assembly is suspended and the following provisions of this section have effect.
 
      (2) No Act is to be passed by the Assembly.
 
      (3) Neither the Assembly nor any committee of the Assembly is to hold a meeting or conduct any business.
 
      (4) No person is to continue to hold office or be elected, nominated or appointed as a Minister or junior Minister, or as a chairman or deputy chairman of a statutory committee.
 
      (5) The functions conferred by section 52 or 53 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (North-South Ministerial Council and British-Irish Council) are not to be exercised.
 
      (6) The functions conferred by section 54 of that Act (British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference) are not to be exercised.
 
      (7) No functions are to be conferred under section 55(2)(b) of that Act (implementation bodies).
 
      (8) The Schedule to this Act makes further provision in connection with that made by this section.
 
Ending suspension.     2. - (1) As soon as is reasonably practicable after section 1 comes into force, the Secretary of State must take steps to initiate a review under the Validation, Implementation and Review section of the Belfast Agreement.
 
      (2) The Secretary of State may by order ("a restoration order") provide that section 1 is to cease to have effect on the date specified in the order.
 
      (3) Before making a restoration order, the Secretary of State must take into account the result of the review conducted as a result of subsection (1).
 
Effect of restoration.     3. - (1) This section applies when a restoration order is made.
 
      (2) If, on the date on which the restoration order comes into force ("the effective date")-
 
 
    (a) the person who held office as First Minister immediately before the date on which section 1 came into force, and
 
    (b) the person who held office as deputy First Minister at that time,
  remain eligible to hold office, they resume office on the effective date and section 16 of the 1998 Act does not apply.
 
      (3) If either of those persons is no longer eligible on the effective date, that section applies-
 
 
    (a) with the omission of subsection (1); and
 
    (b) as if the person who is no longer eligible ceased to hold office on the effective date.
      (4) Subsection (5) applies if the office of First Minister or deputy First Minister was vacant on the date on which section 1 came into force.
 
      (5) On the effective date, section 16 of the 1998 Act applies-
 
 
    (a) with the omission of subsection (1); and
 
    (b) as if the office had been vacated on the effective date.
      (6) If any person who held office as-
 
 
    (a) a Northern Ireland Minister,
 
    (b) a junior Minister, or
 
    (c) chairman or deputy chairman of a statutory committee,
  immediately before the date on which section 1 came into force remains eligible to hold that office, he resumes office on the effective date.
 
      (7) If, after the application of subsection (6), there are vacancies in the offices mentioned there, they are to be filled-
 
 
    (a) in the case of Northern Ireland Ministers, in accordance with section 18(10) of the 1998 Act,
 
    (b) in the case of junior Ministers, in accordance with the provision for the filling of vacancies made by virtue of section 19(3)(a) of that Act, and
 
    (c) in the case of chairmen or deputy chairmen of statutory committees, in accordance with standing orders made as a result of section 29(8) of that Act,
  as if the vacancies occurred on the effective date.
 
Further suspension by order.     4. The effect of an order made by the Secretary of State revoking a restoration order is that section 1 comes into force again.
 
Implementation bodies.     5. - (1) If, while section 1 is in force, arrangements made under an agreement between Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland require any functions of an implementation body, so far as they relate to Northern Ireland, to be transferred to a Northern Ireland department, the Secretary of State must by order transfer those functions to the department.
 
      (2) If, when a restoration order is made, arrangements made under such an agreement require any functions of a Northern Ireland department to be transferred to an implementation body, the Secretary of State must by order transfer those functions to the body.
 
 
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