Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) (No. 2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Gavin Robinson Gavin Robinson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Defence) 3:50 pm, 5th March 2019

The Secretary of State is right about the difficulty we are in because Stormont is not sitting, but that does not obviate the need for the process that this House should be engaged in. There is no need for this Bill be done through emergency procedures—there is no need for it to be fast-tracked. The explanatory memorandum says that the Bill is being fast-tracked because there was a hope that the Executive would have been restored to make the provisions. When in the past two months was there any genuine prospect of the Assembly being restored to go through this process? Our Committee stage is to be constrained this afternoon—we might get an hour or we might get 45 minutes on the Floor of this House. That is not satisfactory; we have the tools and the mechanisms in Parliament for full Bill Committee consideration of the estimates and future allocations. There was also the opportunity for the Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs to get into these discussions. The Departments are very good at appearing before the Committee chaired by Dr Murrison. We should have used those processes, rather than this constrained, fast-track process today.