Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018

Document Number:2018 CHAPTER 28

An Act to facilitate the formation of an Executive in Northern Ireland by extending the time for making Ministerial appointments following the election of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 2 March 2017; and to make provision about the exercise of governmental functions in, or in relation to, Northern Ireland in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Executive formation

1 Extension of period for Executive formation

(1) For the purposes of filling the Ministerial offices on the first occasion following the election of the Northern Ireland Assembly at the poll on 2 March 2017 , the Northern Ireland Act 1998 has effect as if in section 16 A(3) for the words before paragraph (a) there were substituted “Within the period beginning with the first meeting of the Assembly and ending with 26 March 2019”.

(2) Subsection (1) is to be treated as having had effect at all times on and after 2 March 2017.

(3) Section 32 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 has effect as if, during the period for forming an Executive, for subsection (3) there were substituted—

“(3) The Secretary of State may propose a date for the poll for the election of the next Northern Ireland Assembly that is earlier than the date determined in accordance with section 31.””

(4) In the Northern Ireland (Ministerial Appointments and Regional Rates) Act 2017 , omit section 1.

(5) In this section—

“the Ministerial offices” means the offices of the First Minister, deputy First Minister and the Northern Ireland Ministers;

“the period for forming an Executive” means the period beginning when this Act is passed and ending—

when all of the Ministerial offices are next filled,

when the period mentioned in section 16 A(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 , as modified by subsection (1) , ends, or

when the Assembly elected on 2 March 2017 is dissolved,

whichever happens first.

2 Limited power to further extend period for Executive formation

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend section 1(1) so as to replace “26 March 2019” with any later date falling within the period of five months beginning with 26 March 2019.

(2) The power under subsection (1)—

(a) may only be used on or before 26 March 2019 , and

(b) may only be used once.

(3) Regulations under subsection (1) are to be made by statutory instrument.

(4) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (1) may not be made unless—

(a) a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament, or

(b) the regulations declare that the Secretary of State considers it to be expedient for the regulations to be made without the approval mentioned in paragraph (a).

(5) Where regulations contain a declaration under subsection (4)(b)—

(a) the instrument containing the regulations must be laid before Parliament after being made, and

(b) if the replacement date substituted by the regulations is after the end of the period of 28-days beginning with the day on which the instrument is made and the...

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