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Amendment 1

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Committee – in the House of Lords at 3:15 pm on 15th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hayward Lord Hayward Conservative 3:15 pm, 15th July 2019

I support what the noble Baroness, Lady Harris, has just said—in contradiction to what Lord Cormack said. I would support his amendment if I believed there would be a benefit in going beyond 31 October to a date some time after Brexit. However, there is serious advantage in having a target date before the Brexit date. Many of us in this House think all sorts of complications may arise from 31 October, whatever format we leave the European Union in. A target date before then is therefore sensible.

As I said at Second Reading last week, it has been just over 1,000 days since the Dissolution of the Northern Ireland Assembly in early 2017. It has been a lot longer since the last vote on same-sex marriage, in which a majority of Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly voted in favour of introducing it. Like the noble Baroness, Lady Harris, I oppose this amendment.