Amendment 5

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Empey Lord Empey UUP 5:30 pm, 17th July 2019

My Lords, I am extremely grateful to all noble Lords who have participated in this debate, and for the consensus that has emerged. Like many noble Lords, particularly the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, I would be much happier if we were not sitting here debating these matters. Clearly, we have a unique situation: yes, Stormont has been suspended before, but it was replaced by direct rule. This is the first occasion when Stormont has been suspended and has not been replaced by direct rule. Therefore, we have a most unique situation—a Civil Service that is working but which is not accountable to anybody. To use the vernacular, it is bonkers, and the question is how long we can put up with it. However, let us focus on the issues, which are worth looking at on their own merits. Perhaps, as the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Bennachie, said, they could provide at least a basis upon which policies could be implemented when a suitable Government are established. In that spirit, I commend the amendments on the Marshalled List to your Lordships.

Amendment 5 agreed.