Business of the House: Northern Ireland Legislation

– in the House of Lords at 3:13 pm on 29th November 1999.

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Photo of Baroness Jay of Paddington Baroness Jay of Paddington President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal 3:13 pm, 29th November 1999

My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

It may be for the convenience of the House if I explain that this order has been laid today and should be taken as first business tomorrow. In order to achieve this it is necessary to suspend Standing Order 72, which prevents the House considering an affirmative instrument until the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has reported on it. The second limb of the Motion will allow the House to consider the order even though the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has had no time to report.

I can assure the House that this power will be used only in relation to a Northern Ireland devolution order. Now that the order has been laid, the first part of the Motion is not strictly necessary. It was tabled as a precautionary measure in case the order was not laid in this House until tomorrow. I can assure the House that the power will not now be used and that the Northern Ireland devolution order will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper in the usual way. Perhaps it is additionally helpful if I tell the House that this Motion has the full consent of the usual channels.

Moved, That, in the event that one or more statutory instruments relating to Northern Ireland are laid before the House this week, a Motion or Motions to approve them may, notwithstanding the practice of the House, be moved forthwith; and that Standing Order 72 (Affirmative Instruments) be dispensed with to enable the Motion or Motions to be taken, notwithstanding that no report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments on the instruments has been laid before the House.--(Baroness Jay of Paddington.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.