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The Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill 2022-23 was introduced in the House of Commons on Thursday 9 February 2023. All its remaining Commons stages are due to take place on Wednesday 22 February.

Currently, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is under a legal obligation to call a further Northern Ireland Assembly election. This is because the deadline (19 January 2023) for the formation of a Northern Ireland Executive provided for by the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2022 has now passed without ministerial offices being filled.

The Bill seeks to retrospectively extend the period for the formation of an Executive by 52 weeks from 19 January 2023 to 18 January 2024. This means that the Secretary of State will no longer be obliged to call an election until after January 18 2024.

The Bill includes a power for the Secretary of State to set a date for an Assembly election before the end of the new Executive formation period, if they chose to do so.

The Government has also proposed an amendment to the Bill regarding the Organ and Tissue Donation (Deemed Consent) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 passed by the Assembly in February 2022.

The text of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill and its Explanatory Notes are available on the Bill pages on the Parliamentary website.

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