The Harbours (Grants and Loans Limit) Bill: Accelerated Passage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:45 am on 1st December 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP 11:45 am, 1st December 2020

Accelerated passage should be sought only in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances are coming in about a month's time; we are coming to the end of the EU transition period, and, as of yet, there is no clarity about the implications of that. There may be complications with marshalling, inspecting and other emergency activity that needs to occur, so it is important that we create a little bit of headroom space by proceeding with accelerated passage. There is also COVID. Our ports are vital to trade and our businesses. They have been operating at a reduced schedule, and yet perishable goods move in both directions, so it is essential that there are still good ongoing connections. It is important to support our ports for that reason. However, both those issues could have been predicted at the start of the year. Why was permission to increase not sought much earlier, in which case the Bill could have proceeded via normal passage? Nevertheless, I recognise that we are where we are and that there is a need to create that headroom and an ability to assist if necessary. For that reason, the Ulster Unionist Party and I support accelerated passage.