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Government: Legislative Programme for Northern Ireland

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 7 November 2007

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The third Session UK legislative programme unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on 6 November contains measures of relevance to the people of Northern Ireland.

The following is a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech and its impact in Northern Ireland. This does not include draft Bills. The Bills listed in section 1 are not likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly because the legislation is predominantly or wholly within an excepted area. Section 2 details Bills that are likely to contain provisions that require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Finally, section 3 details Bills that will have a limited impact in Northern Ireland because, for example, they extend only to England and Wales.

The list also identifies the lead government department.

The following Bills extend to Northern Ireland, in whole or in part, and deal mainly with excepted or reserved matters:

Banking (HM Treasury);

Counter Terrorism (Home Office);

Criminal Justice and Immigration (Ministry of Justice);

European Communities (Finance) (HM Treasury);

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Department of Health);

National Insurance Contributions (HM Treasury); and

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).

It is intended that the following Bills will extend to Northern Ireland to varying degrees. They will require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to those provisions in the devolved field:

Child Maintenance and Other Payments (Department for Work and Pensions);

Climate Change (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs);

Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts (HM Treasury);

Education and Skills (Department for Children, Schools and Families);

Energy (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform);

Health and Social Care (Department of Health);

Pensions (Department for Work and Pensions); and

Planning Reform (Department for Communities and Local Government).

Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on Bills that might include provisions that require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The following Bills will have limited or no impact in Northern Ireland:

Channel Tunnel Rail Link (Supplementary Provisions) (Department for Transport);

Coroners (Ministry of Justice);

Crossrail (Department for Transport);

Employment (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform);

Housing and Regeneration (Department for Communities and Local Government);

Local Transport (Department for Transport); and

Sale of Student Loans (HM Treasury).