Progress report

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:45 pm on 9th July 2019.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 429
    A majority of MPs voted to require a report on progress made towards protecting veterans of the Armed Forces and other security personnel from repeated investigation for Northern Ireland Troubles related incidents.
  • Division number 430
    A majority of MPs voted for fortnightly reports on progress towards the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland until 18 December 2019.
  • Division number 431
    A majority of MPs voted against making the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill grammatically correct and unambiguous in light of previous amendments.
  • Division number 432
    A majority of MPs voted against seeking to ensure reports on progress towards the establishment of a Northern Ireland Executive and towards protecting armed forces and security veterans of the troubles from repeated prosecutions can be debated in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Amendment made: 14, in clause 3, page 2, line 13, leave out “21 October” and insert “4 September”.—(Mr Grieve.)

This amendment would bring forward the date for a progress report to 4 September 2019.

Amendment proposed: 6, in clause 3, page 2, line 15, at end insert—

“(1A) The report under subsection (1) must include a report on progress made towards protecting veterans of the Armed Forces and other security personnel from repeated investigation for Troubles-related incidents by introducing a presumption of non-prosecution, in the absence of compelling new evidence, whether in the form of a Qualified Statute of Limitations or by some other legal mechanism.”—(Dr Julian Lewis.)

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on the options available to ensure that veterans of the Troubles would be able to assist in a truth recovery process, for the benefit of bereaved families, without fear of prosecution.

Division number 429 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill — Clause 3 — Progress Report on Protecting Veterans Fom Repeated Investigation for Northern Ireland Troubles Incidents.

A majority of MPs voted to require a report on progress made towards protecting veterans of the Armed Forces and other security personnel from repeated investigation for Northern Ireland Troubles related incidents.

Aye: 308 MPs

No: 228 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 109 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The Committee divided: Ayes 308, Noes 228.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment 6 agreed to.

Amendment made: 7, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1A) The report under subsection (1) must include a report on progress made towards developing new prosecution guidance for legacy cases of Troubles-related incidents by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland to take into account whether or not the person who allegedly committed an offence had the means to do so because that person had been lawfully supplied with a deadly weapon, with a presumption in favour of prosecuting in cases where a person who has allegedly committed an offence had the means to do so because that person had been unlawfully supplied with a deadly weapon.” —(Sir Michael Fallon.)

The subsection would place a duty on the Secretary to State to report on progress made towards a new prosecution guidance taking into account whether or not the person who allegedly committed an offence had been lawfully armed.

Amendment made: 9, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1A) The report under subsection (1) must include a review of the current legal framework on abortion in Northern Ireland with an analysis of how that framework could be amended by Parliament during the period when there is no Executive, subject to a sunset clause to respect devolution, in order to comply with the human rights obligations of the United Kingdom.” —(Diana Johnson.) [Interruption.]

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary to State to report on the legal framework on abortion in Northern Ireland with an analysis of how that framework could be amended by Parliament during the period when there is no Executive, subject to a sunset clause to respect devolution, in order to comply with the human rights obligations of the United Kingdom.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

No, no—we do not clap. Diana Johnson deserves to be congratulated, but not by clapping.

We now come to amendment 10 to clause 3, to be moved formally. [Interruption.]

The Question is that amendment 10 be made. As many of that opinion say “Aye”. [Interruption.] To the contrary, “No”. [Interruption.] Order. I have to be able to separate the laughter from the cries of “Aye” and “No”.

Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Did the Member who shouted initially say, “Not moved”?

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

I understand the point of order made by a long-serving Chief Whip, who understands these matters extremely well, but the hon. Gentleman has the right to change his mind.

Photo of Tony Lloyd Tony Lloyd Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

For clarification, Madam Deputy Speaker, the amendment is moved formally. [Interruption.]

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. No, we are having no confusion on this matter. We are starting this matter again. [Interruption.] I would appreciate just a little less noise, because we are debating serious matters here and it is not amusing.

Amendment made: 10, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1A) Before making a report under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must publish a report on or before 4 September 2019 on progress made towards preparing legislation implementing a pension for seriously injured victims and survivors of Troubles-related incidents.” —(Tony Lloyd.)

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on the implementation of a pension for seriously injured victims and survivors of Troubles-related incidents.

Amendment made: 12, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1A) Before making a report under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must publish a report on or before 4 September 2019 on progress made towards implementing the recommendations made by the Report of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, including the establishment of a publicly funded compensation scheme under an HIA Redress Board, distinct from the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2009.’—(Tony Lloyd.)

The subsection calls for a report on implementing the Report of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, published in January 2017, which was chaired by Sir Anthony Hart.

Amendment proposed: 15, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

‘(1A) The Secretary of State shall make a further report under subsection 1 on or before 9 October 2019 at least every fourteen calendar days thereafter until either an Executive is formed or until 18 December 2019, whichever is the sooner.’—(Mr Grieve.)

This amendment would require fortnightly reports to be made after the conference recess until an Executive was formed, or until the December recess.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

Division number 430 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill — Clause 3 — Fortnightly Reports on Progress Towards an Executive in Northern Ireland

A majority of MPs voted for fortnightly reports on progress towards the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland until 18 December 2019.

Aye: 294 MPs

No: 292 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 59 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The Committee divided: Ayes 294, Noes 293.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Amendment 15 agreed to.

Amendments made: 18, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

“(1A) Before making a report under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must publish a report on or before 4 September 2019 on progress made towards preparing legislation confirming the application of the Armed Forces Covenant in the provision of public services in Northern Ireland.”

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on the preparation of legislation confirming the application of the Armed Forces Covenant in Northern Ireland.

Amendment 19, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

“(1A) Before making a report under subsection (1), the Secretary of State must publish a report on or before 4 September 2019 on whether the definition of “victim” in Article 3 of the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (Order No. 2953 (N.I. 17)) should be revised to apply only to a person who is injured or affected wholly through the actions of another person.”

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on the definition of “victim” in the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006.

Amendment 21, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

“(1A) The report under subsection (1) must include a report to be published on or before 4 September 2019 on progress made in Northern Ireland on—

(a) the law on gaming machines;

(b) the law on online gambling;

(c) the number of people who are seeking treatment for problem gambling;

(d) the services available to people seeking problem gambling; and

(e) the level of support from the gambling industry for problem gambling.”

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on various matters related to the law on gambling in Northern Ireland and support for those experiencing problem gambling.

Amendment 22, in page 2, line 15, at end insert—

“(1A) The report under subsection (1) must include a report to be published on or before 4 September 2019 on progress on the use of discretionary powers to provide assistance and support under section 18(9) of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Criminal Justice and Support for Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015. The report must cover—

(a) how many times the Department has decided it is necessary to provide assistance and support for victims of human trafficking for whom there has been a conclusive determination that the person is a victim of trafficking in human beings;

(b) the reasons the Department has decided it is necessary to provide assistance and support for victims of human trafficking for whom there has been a conclusive determination that the person is a victim of trafficking in human beings; and

(c) the immigration status of those victims of human trafficking for whom there has been a conclusive determination that the person is a victim of trafficking in human beings who are receiving assistance and support beyond the relevant period.”—(Nigel Dodds.)

The subsection would include placing a duty on the Secretary of State to report on the assistance and support offered to victims of human trafficking in Northern Ireland from receiving a conclusive grounds decision.

Amendment proposed: 16, in page 2, line 16, leave out “the report” and insert

“any report under this section”.—(Mr Grieve.)

This is a consequential amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

Division number 431 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill — Progress Report — Grammar — Ambiguity

A majority of MPs voted against making the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill grammatically correct and unambiguous in light of previous amendments.

Aye: 289 MPs

No: 291 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 65 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 289, Noes 292.

Question accordingly negatived.

Amendment proposed: 17, page 2, line 16, at end insert—

“(2A) A Minister of the Crown must, within the period of two sitting days beginning with the day on which a report under this section is published, make arrangements for—

(a) a motion to the effect that the House of Commons has approved that report to be moved in that House by a Minister of the Crown within the period of three Commons sitting days beginning with the day on which the report under this section is published, and

(b) a motion for the House of Lords to take note of the report mentioned in paragraph (a) to be moved in that House by a Minister of the Crown within the period of three Lords sitting days beginning with the day on which the relevant report mentioned in section 3 is published.

(2B) In this section—

“Commons sitting day” means a day on which the House of Commons is sitting (and a day is only a day on which the House of Commons is sitting if the House begins to sit on that day);

“Lords sitting day” means a day on which the House of Lords is sitting (and a day is only a day on which the House of Lords is sitting if the House begins to sit on that day).”—[Mr Grieve.]

This amendment would require progress reports to be debated.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

Division number 432 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill — Progress Reports — Parliamentary Debates — Protecting Veterans Fom Repeated Investigation for Northern Ireland Troubles Incidents — Establising An Executive

A majority of MPs voted against seeking to ensure reports on progress towards the establishment of a Northern Ireland Executive and towards protecting armed forces and security veterans of the troubles from repeated prosecutions can be debated in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Aye: 289 MPs

No: 293 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 63 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The Committee divided: Ayes 289, Noes 293.

Question accordingly negatived.

Clause 3, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.