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Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006

Section 2: Compliance or non-compliance with the St Andrews Agreement timetable

26.Section 2 makes provision for bringing into force Schedules 2 to 4. Schedules 2 and 3 respectively provide for, amongst other things, the restoration, or alternatively, dissolution of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Under subsection (1), if, at any time before 25 March 2007, the Secretary of State considers that there is no reasonable prospect that an Executive will be formed on 26 March 2007, he may make an order bringing Schedule 3 to the Act into force (which would in effect provide for the dissolution of the Assembly and the indefinite postponement of Assembly elections).

27.If the Secretary of State does not make an order under subsection (1) before 25 March 2007, subsection (2) requires him to make a restoration order (under section 2(2) of the 2000 Act), and brings Schedule 2 into force on 26 March 2007. Schedule 4 – which provides for the repeal of the 2000 Act – will come into force on 28 March 2007 so long as an Executive is formed on 26 March 2007.

28.Subsections (3) and (4) provide for a scenario where the Secretary of State has made a restoration order, but it appears to him that not all of the Ministerial offices of the Northern Ireland Executive have been filled by the end of 26 March 2007. In these circumstances, the Secretary of State must make an order under the 2000 Act revoking the restoration order and this must come into force on 28 March 2007, at the same time as Schedule 3.

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