British-Irish Council: Summit

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 30th November 2021.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 10:45 am, 30th November 2021

Northern Ireland is not less ambitious. We have taken scientific advice. If the Member wishes to reject that advice, that is a matter for the Member and whoever she can persuade. I tend to take the scientific advice. I also tend to take the advice of the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC), which advises Members on legislation and legislative processes, and it has described the Member's Bill as "unworkable" and "unaffordable". If the Member wants to ignore the scientific and, indeed, legislative expertise and charge ahead with something that she believes to be a crowd-pleaser, it is a matter for individuals to choose. What we can do is highlight the issues that have been raised with us and with the Executive by members of the CCC and the OLC: they are people with real expertise and knowledge on the issue.