Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill

to be moved
in committee

After Clause 5




Insert the following new Clause—

“Opposition status in the Northern Ireland Assembly

(1)   The Northern Ireland Assembly may, at any time after the passage of this
Act, request that the Secretary of State introduce opposition status and
rights for members of the Assembly, subject to the provisions of this

(2)   Within six months of receiving a request from the Northern Ireland
Assembly, the Secretary of State shall, by regulation, introduce the
following rights for Assembly members with opposition status—

(a)   speaking rights;

(b)   supply days; and

(c)   chairmanship and deputy chairmanship of the Public Accounts

and shall make clear that these rights are to be allocated to members with
opposition status in a manner that is proportionate to their relative number
in the Assembly.

(3)   It shall be for the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly to determine
what is proportionate under subsection (2) and to set this out in the
Assembly’s Standing Orders.

(4)   For the purposes of this section, opposition status shall apply to any party
with at least one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly which is not a part
of the Executive and which has notified the Speaker in writing of its desire
to be accorded opposition status.”

Prepared 21st January 2014