Assembly Standing Orders

Part of the debate – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:30 am on 9th March 1999.

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Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Initial Presiding Officer 11:30 am, 9th March 1999

It is clear from comments that were made earlier, particularly by the Members who moved this list of amendments, and from the number of Members who want to speak that there is very considerable interest on the part of the Assembly in addressing this matter.

The proposition was made that we would speak to this matter rather than consider the whole raft of amendments for this section on Committees as one piece and then vote on all of them right at the end. It does seem to me that that proposition has some merit. We are going to be debating for some time, before and after lunch, and then voting later on.

I therefore rule that we will now take all the speeches on the set of amendments up to amendment 54, that is the amendments to Standing Orders 42 to 44. A substantial number of Members have indicated that they wish to address those matters. We will then vote on them and then continue with the rest of the amendments to the section on Committees.

If we do not do this we will be debating backwards and forwards on a whole series of matters and then voting on them very much later in the day.