This afternoon the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP, delivered a written statement to the House of Commons on NI Finances – the ‘monitoring round’ is usually delivered by the NI Executive Minister at the Assembly.
Some of the key points by Bokenshire from his written statement:
- “If an agreement is reached, I will move quickly to bring forward the necessary legislation to allow an Executive to meet at the next earliest opportunity.”
- “I will maintain close contact with party leaders and the Irish Government over the coming weeks to seek to consolidate progress and encourage continuing discussions towards a deal.”
- “While agreement remains possible, it is clear that an Executive will not be capable of being formed before the autumn.”
- “In the Autumn, Northern Ireland must have a proper Budget in place to put its finances on a secure footing. Although we are not at that critical point yet, this is approaching.”
- “I reaffirm that the UK Government remains prepared to take forward legislation at Westminster to give authority for the expenditure of Northern Ireland departments should an Executive not be restored in the autumn.”
- “It remains for NI civil servants to allocate cash under s59 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. It is important to acknowledge, however, that as the year progresses the scope for significant changes will become more constrained.”