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Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006

Schedule 3: Non-Compliance With the St Andrews Agreement Timetable

118.Schedule 3 makes provision for the situation where an Executive is not formed in accordance with Schedule 2 or, before 25 March 2007, the Secretary of State considers there is no reasonable prospect that it will be formed. Paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 provides for the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Assembly either side of the election provided for in section 3.

119.Paragraph 2 substitutes section 31(2) to (2D) of the 1998 Act. It provides that the next Northern Ireland Assembly election shall not be held until such time as the Secretary of State specifies by order. New section 31(2)(a) provides that, if Schedule 3 comes into force before the election provided for in section 3, then that election will be indefinitely postponed. New section 31(2)(b) provides that, if Schedule 3 comes into force after the election provided for in section 3, then it will be the next election under section 31 of the 1998 Act that will be indefinitely postponed (currently scheduled for May 2011).

120.The date of the rescheduled election, by virtue of new section 31(2A) of the 1998 Act, must be after the date specified under section 31(1) of the 1998 Act (that is, the first Thursday of May 2007 or May 2011).

121.New section 31(2B) to (2D) of the 1998 Act provides for the order to make amendments the Secretary of State considers appropriate and specifies that these may include: amending provisions of Acts (other than the 1998 Act) and of Northern Ireland legislation; making provision modifying the duties of the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland; and making any supplementary, incidental or consequential provision.

122.Paragraph 3 sets out the provisions of this Act that would be repealed if Schedule 3 came into force: section 1(1) and (2) and Schedule 1, providing for the end of the Transitional Assembly; section 3(1), ensuring that there would be no election; Schedules 2 and 4, ensuring that there would be no immediate restoration and that the 2000 Act would remain in force; and Part 2 (including Schedules 5 to 7) ensuring the repeal of those provisions of the Act that would make amendments to the 1998 Act relating to, amongst other things, changes to the institutions.

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