Northern Ireland Budget Bill

Part of Miscellaneous – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 13th November 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 7:00 pm, 13th November 2017

My right hon. Friend, who served in a distinguished way in the Northern Ireland Office, knows that full well. Decisions have to be made by Ministers, and my question is about the elements of the report, which I have highlighted simply as an exemplar, that would require ministerial direction, and the extent to which supplementary estimates might be introduced. Notwithstanding the welcome announcement of funding that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made today, to what extent can those estimates be laid before the House to achieve the purposes I described? I ask that with a certain trepidation, because I would counsel against the constant tabling of supplementary estimates, which would have the effect of introducing direct rule in dribs and drabs. If we need to look to direct rule, notwithstanding the risks, that must be clear, and not done by stealth and gradually, which would be a recipe for confusion.