Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:09 pm on 24th October 2018.

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Photo of Jeffrey M. Donaldson Jeffrey M. Donaldson DUP Chief Whip, Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business in the House of Commons) 3:09 pm, 24th October 2018

Further to the point made by my right hon. Friend Sammy Wilson, in the discussions on the Bill with the Northern Ireland Office, we put forward a modest proposal that, to give some democratic accountability to this mechanism in Northern Ireland, the Assembly Members, on their reduced pay, should have a role in scrutinising the Departments that will exercise the decisions that fall subject to the Bill. The Northern Ireland Office told us that it was not possible to do this because Sinn Féin was unlikely to take part in such scrutiny mechanisms. Sinn Féin has a veto over even the most modest of proposals. How long are this Government going to allow Sinn Féin to veto democratic progress in Northern Ireland?