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Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by what date he expects devolution of powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly to have been completed. (296836)

The Government believe that the time is right for the Northern Ireland Assembly to complete the process of devolution by requesting the transfer of policing and justice powers. However, the actual timing of devolution remains for the Assembly itself to decide upon, as set out in section 4 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Good progress continues to be made towards the completion of devolution and I believe that the financial package set out by the Prime Minister should enable the parties to move forward with the process.