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The Second Report on the Use of the Petition of Concern Mechanism in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Statement made on 12 January 2021

Statement UIN HCWS701


I am today laying before both Houses of Parliament the second report by the UK Government on the use of the Petition of Concern mechanism in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

As part of the New Decade, New Approach deal upon which devolved government was restored in Northern Ireland on 11 January 2020, the UK Government committed to undertaking such a report every six months.

This report covers the period from 10 July 2020 to 11 January 2021, during which no Petition of Concern has been lodged against any motion in the Assembly.

The next UK Government report on the use of the Petition of Concern will cover the period from 11 January 2021 to 10 July 2021.

The report notes that full implementation of the Petition of Concern reforms in New Decade, New Approach will require Westminster legislation. The Government will bring forward such legislation when parliamentary time allows, after which the Assembly will be able to reflect the detail of the reforms in its standing orders.