The Government are committed to the delivery of the New Decade, New Approach agreement in full. It was the basis upon which the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement institutions were restored. Full implementation of New Decade, New Approach remains important to the ongoing stability of those institutions. Recognising Northern Ireland’s rich diversity of identities and languages, it is essential that the balanced cultural package the parties agreed to is implemented in full.
If the Executive have not progressed the legislation for the identity, language and culture package in the New Decade, New Approach agreement by the end of September, the UK Government will take the legislation through the UK Parliament. The New Decade, New Approach agreement was endorsed by the UK Parliament, and we will introduce the legislation that delivers on these commitments in October 2021, if necessary. This will provide for the creation of an Office for Identity and Cultural Expression, an Ulster Scots Commissioner, and an Irish language Commissioner.