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The Government's Legislative Programme (Northern Ireland) 2021-22

Volume 695: debated on Wednesday 12 May 2021

The legislative programme for the second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on 11 May. Twenty five of the 29 Bills announced in the Government’s legislative programme contain a wide range of measures that will apply to Northern Ireland either in full or in part.

This ambitious legislative programme, and the delivery that will flow from it, underlines the importance that the Government places on the Union, and Northern Ireland’s integral part within it. It also reinforces the Government’s commitment to levelling up right across the UK, delivering for people and businesses across Northern Ireland, as part of a strong United Kingdom, to ensure we can build back better and recover from the covid-19 pandemic by strengthening economic growth and opportunities right across the UK.

It also builds on the unprecedented action the Government have taken to support individuals, businesses and communities in Northern Ireland to get the Northern Ireland economy back up and running. This includes £4.2 billion funding through the Barnett formula to tackle the pandemic—over and on top of £3.5 billion investment we are already making in Northern Ireland through the new deal for Northern Ireland—ambitious city deals, PEACE PLUS and the New Decade, New Approach financial package. This financial boost, together with further funding streams and legislative action will continue to lay the foundations for delivering prosperity, safety, ongoing support for communities right across Northern Ireland, and working with the Executive to ensure the effective delivery of public services.

My Department will also lead on two of the Bills within the legislative programme which have a specific focus on matters at the heart of Northern Ireland. These are:

The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill which will deliver aspects of the New Decade, New Approach deal agreed by the five main Northern Ireland political parties when the Executive was restored in January 2020;

A Bill to address the legacy of the Troubles in a way which focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of investigations.

The Bills that will extend in whole or in part to Northern Ireland are:

Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill

Armed Forces Bill

Animals Abroad Bill

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill

Borders Bill

Building Safety Bill

Counter-State Threats Bill

Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill

Dormant Assets Bill

Electoral Integrity Bill

Environment Bill

Health and Care Bill

Judicial Review Bill

Legacy Bill

National Insurance Contributions Bill

Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill

Planning Bill

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Procurement Reform Bill

Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill

Professional Qualifications Bill

Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill

Subsidy Control Bill

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill

Telecommunications (Security) Bill

In line with the Sewel Convention and associated practices, the Government will continue to work constructively with the Northern Ireland Executive to secure the legislative consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly where appropriate.