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The Government has been clear that we think there would be benefits in the Assembly moving to a system which permitted a more normal system which included a formal Opposition. In August 2012, we asked for views on how this might be achieved in the Consultation on Measures to Improve the Operation of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Responses to that consultation demonstrate that no consensus on major changes to the current system exists at this time.
The Northern Ireland Assembly has within its remit the ability to provide for some elements of an opposition, for example in relation to speaking rights and funding.