Allowing those who want to form Executive to do so would kick-start devolution, says Farry

Assembly Political Reform Stephen Farry Devolution

Those who are willing to form an Executive should be allowed to do so in order to kick-start devolution, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has said.

The North Down MP was speaking ahead of an adjournment debate he is bringing to the House of Commons tomorrow (Tuesday), focusing on the operation of the Assembly and Executive. Alliance’s proposals include the right to nominate a First or deputy First Minister passing to the next largest party if a party does not nominate, as well as introducing weighted majority voting for ‘cross-community’ votes in the Assembly and restricting the use of petitions of concern and ‘cross-community’ votes within the Executive to specific issues.

Dr Farry said if changes did not happen, a cycle of crisis and collapse would continue in our politics.

“Alliance has consistently played a constructive role in the various negotiations around the institutions over the years, but if we don’t see even modest reform, we will inevitably just repeat that process of crisis and collapse in future,” he said.

“We have recently written to both the UK and Irish Governments, outlining our proposals for reform of the Assembly and Executive in a bid to secure the long-term future and stability of the institutions. The case for change is indisputable and uncontroversial.

“Those proposals do not alter the fundamental principles of the Good Friday Agreement but are significant enough to restore public confidence in the institutions, while kick-starting devolution by allowing those who wish to form an Executive to do so, instead of holding hostage the best interests of everyone in our society.

“Our current system is not an acceptable way to govern and is no longer functioning. If we want stability and future proofing, we know what needs to be done.”