Northern Ireland Assembly
Tuesday 14 December 1999 (continued)
Mr B Hutchinson:
May I ask the First Minister what is the time commitment for persons occupying positions in the bodies and whether they receive remuneration of any description? Are they committed to one day a week, one week a month, or one month a year? Are all the boards subject to section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act?
The First Minister:
On the question of remuneration I can tell the Assembly that members of the boards will receive £4,000 or IR£5,000 per annum, Vice Chairpersons £5,200 or IR£6,500, and Chairpersons £6,400 or IR£8,000. With regard to the amount of time involved I cannot give a detailed response now, but it is fairly clear that there are significant responsibilities.
The remuneration is entirely in line with that for equivalent posts in other public bodies. The figures were agreed by the Finance Ministries in Dublin and Belfast, and we are satisfied that the whole matter is entirely in accordance with existing practice.
Can the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister confirm that the consultation which preceded the issue of the memorandum was inadequate and that they did not meet the remit that they set out for themselves in the report of 15 February 1999 - to have further consultations with parties on the draft before it was finalised in the North/South Ministerial Council? In particular, do they agree that parties are right to be critical on hearing for the first time the nominations to these bodies and, indeed, the remuneration? Nowadays public bodies go to press when looking for nominees, particularly in cases where the persons appointed will receive financial remuneration.
If the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister agree that the consultation with the parties, particularly those which were involved in the multi-party negotiations that helped to establish the implementation bodies, was inadequate, what steps will they take to improve consultation in the future, particularly in relation to the independent consultative forum that is referred to in paragraph 19 (strand two) and the joint parliamentary forum referred to in paragraph 18 (strand two)?
The First Minister:
Members should bear in mind that in the last two weeks we have done a considerable number of things in quite a short time. Not everything has been achieved, and it is perfectly clear that some elements of the agreement have still to be put in place. These include the establishment of the Civic Forum and parliamentary groups and the consultative forums with regard to North/South co-operation, to which the Member referred. We will consider these matters and take them forward as soon as we can.
There was a clear desire on the part of a number of parties - ourselves included - to see these major building blocks put in place as soon as possible, particularly as so many months had elapsed. Agreement was reached in December 1998 and was implemented by legislation in March 1999. The delay in establishing these institutions was causing considerable uncertainty and inconvenience in the public services North and South, and it was natural that once the Assembly went live our next priority would be to have the inaugural meetings of the North/South Ministerial Council and the British-Irish Council and to start to implement those things agreed in December 1998 and January and March 1999.
I am sorry if the Member feels that the consultation was inadequate. There will be plenty of opportunities in the Assembly for consultation about the working out of these programmes - in particular, through the appropriate Committees, whose purpose is to enable Members to obtain information, to make their views known and to be involved in the development of policy.
The Deputy First Minister:
Prof McWilliams referred to the Civic Forum. It is a requirement that arrangements for its establishment be made within six months of devolution. Steps are being taken to ensure that that will happen. Maximum consultation will take place, in the same way as before, so that it will be a genuine consultative forum, as intended. The same applies to the proposed interparliamentary forum. I welcome debate on that, and I welcome very widespread consultation. This is one of the most important matters that the Assembly can consider. It derives directly from the Good Friday Agreement, as does the Civic Forum. [Interruption]
I remind Members that electronic devices such as telephones and pagers should be switched off, left outside or set in such a way that they upset only the Member and not the rest of us.
Rev Dr William McCrea:
What about bugs?
The same applies to bugs. This rule applies not only to those of us in the Chamber but also to people in the Gallery.
Rev Dr Ian Paisley:
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am not sure that I heard the Deputy First Minister correctly. I understood him to talk about decisions with regard to an interparliamentary body. What does he mean by that?
If Members have further questions, that is well and good, but I am not clear that that is a point of order.
I direct this question specifically to the First Minister. Is he not being at best disingenuous and at worst misleading when he refers to this House as having endorsed, on 18 December 1998 and in February 1999, the arrangements whose outworkings were dealt with at the meeting yesterday? At that time were the First Minister and his party not telling both this House and the pro-Unionist community that there would be no further outworkings of the agreement and that they would not be participating in any Executive unless guns were handed in?
Did he not, both at that time and subsequently in the European election, support the literature of the Ulster Unionist candidate, Mr Jim Nicholson, which specifically said that if guns were not handed in, there would be no participation in government? Is it not therefore quite wrong of the First Minister to chasten Members of the Assembly with the suggestion that what happened yesterday was authorised on the basis of what happened on 18 December 1998 and in February 1999, at which time he was advocating an entirely different set of circumstances to those which presently obtain?
The second leg of my question relates to the appointment of the various members of these boards, whose remuneration, but not the extent of whose duties, we have been hearing about today. I note that Mr Barry Fitzsimons of the Ulster Unionist Party, who helpfully seconded the First Minister's motion at the executive council, is one of the appointees. Mr Jack Allen, a former chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party and currently the party treasurer, is another. Mr Bertie Kerr, a well-known Fermanagh Ulster Unionist apparatchik and, I believe, father of the First Minister's publicrelations man, is an appointee, as is Lord Laird, who was elevated to the House of Lords on Mr Trimble's recommendation. All these gentlemen are paid appointees to these bodies.
Was Mr Bertie Kerr, for example, appointed on the basis of his well-known expertise in the food and health industry, or was it simply a question of jobs for the boys? I suppose that Lord Castlereagh got it wrong in 1800 when he said that with the Act of Union he had purchased the fee simple of Irish political corruption. Or is this something that is purchased, First Minister, in each generation?
The First Minister:
I am very surprised to hear aspersions being cast on the founder of the Union, but that is another matter.
On the question of whether the House has been misled by comments which I have made today, I am quite at a loss to understand it. It is clear that the arrangements for the cross-border implementation bodies and the areas for further co-operation which were agreed by the Assembly on 18 December and subsequently are exactly those that were put in place on the coming into operation of the Act. The Executive made some fairly routine administrative decisions regarding their operation and then saw them brought into effect through the meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council.
As to the Member's effusions about the identities and personalities of those appointed, we are satisfied that all these people are fit and proper to carry out the tasks that they will have to undertake.
Like Assemblyman John Dallat, I am encouraged to hear from the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister that the Northern Ireland office of the new tourism company is to be located in Coleraine. That decision is a reflection of the expertise and experience on the north coast. Over the years, my constituency (East Londonderry) and part of North Antrim, have marketed themselves as the Causeway Coast. In that area is to be found the jewel in the crown of tourism north and south of the border - the Giant's Causeway.
Order. I do not question the veracity of what the Member says, but he should address himself to the question as quickly as possible.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I do question the veracity of what he said. With all the noise around me, I cannot hear a damn thing.
Order. I call Mr McClarty for his question.
Mr S Wilson:
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you explain to the Member for East Belfast the difference between veracity and content? I think it was the content rather than the veracity that he was questioning.
I am tempted to explain the nature of a point of order to all hon Members, but I will content myself with calling Mr McClarty.
I am sorry for not getting to the question quickly enough - I have been in the company of the DUP for far too long. Can the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister indicate when they expect the new company to be formed, and how many jobs will initially be located in Coleraine?
The First Minister:
The reasons for locating the Northern Ireland office of Tourism Ireland in Coleraine are obvious, as the Member has pointed out. It appeared to be an entirely appropriate place, and it was equally appropriate to have a sub-office in Northern Ireland. We expect that the new company will be formed following a meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council in the appropriate sectoral format. This is likely to take place early in the new year. The development of the company, its budgets and staffing will be matters for early consideration. The eventual staffing of the body will depend on the structural arrangements agreed by the council with the respective tourist boards.
We cannot, therefore, know exactly how many jobs will be located initially in Coleraine. We expect that the office will be large, given the need for a major initiative on tourism in Northern Ireland.
How will the North/South implementation bodies be financed?
The Deputy First Minister:
The implementation bodies will receive grants from money voted by the Northern Ireland Assembly and by Dáil Éireann. The North/South Ministerial Council, with the approval of the Finance Ministers both North and South, will recommend the amount of each grant. The relevant Ministers, both North and South, will consider the financing of each implementation body when the North/South Ministerial Council meets in sectoral format. For the North/South Ministerial Council to decide such matters in yesterday's plenary format would not have been efficient. It is more efficient to deal with that matter in sectoral format when all the lead Ministers in each sector will be present.
Mr S Wilson:
Will the First Minister comment on the statement he made before yesterday's meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council? He claimed that
"The vast majority of Unionists have always supported a mechanism that would facilitate co-operation between Northern Ireland and the Republic but which did not seek to undermine our constitutional sovereignty."
Shortly before the First Minister made that comment Mr Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, speaking to the same group of reporters, claimed
"I think that today's development is an exciting, even a joyous occasion. It will see as its culmination the eventual unity of Ireland."
I understand that, in the past, both Mr Trimble and Mr McGuinness have had some difficulty with the truth. Perhaps the First Minister will tell us who is lying in this particular case.
I should caution the Member. By asking that specific question, he is out of order.
Mr S Wilson:
Perhaps the First Minister will tell us which of the two is telling the truth?
In the light of the extensive work programme referred to in the document and of the comments made by the Prime Minister of the Irish Republic before the meeting when he said
"We are not going to do all this and then go back"
will the First Minister confirm that this work programme will continue if there is no decommissioning of terrorist weapons? Will there be a going back or not?
Finally, it seems that party position has been the basis on which some of the appointments have been made. We have had no indication of the cost of the implementation bodies to be set up; and we have had no indication of the amount of work involved, and so on. Will the First Minister say whether a series of questions on a statement on which there is no debate or vote - to use his words to his party on 9 January - "before the vital vote on the setting up of these bodies" represents complete accountability of the bodies to the Assembly?
The First Minister:
This does provide accountability to the Assembly. The North/South Ministerial Council will be more accountable to the Assembly than other bodies and organisations. If a Department decided to establish an office at a particular location, that would not be discussed at length on the Floor of the House.
I have no doubt that there will be a higher level of accountability on this issue coming not just through this statement but through other channels as well.
On the question of costs, I refer the Member to my earlier comments. When the Minister of Finance and Personnel makes his budget statement tomorrow, he will give an indication of the cost of each of the implementation bodies. I do not have the figures to hand, and even if I had, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to give them in advance of the Budget statement.
As to whether this institution will go forward or back, of course we hope that it goes forward, although we are also aware of the factors that could disrupt progress. As to the Member's opening question when he referred to my statements, I have no doubt as to the accuracy of what I said about Northern Ireland's position as it is today in law and the lack of any constitutional implications of these bodies. The other statement that he referred to was of an aspirational character referring to possible events in the future. I have at present no knowledge as to whether this statement is inaccurate, but I believe it will prove not to be so.
Mr M Murphy:
A Chathaoirligh, do the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister agree that the North/South ministerial cross-border institutions threaten no one and benefit everyone in the areas covered - loughs, waterways, roadways, agricultural trade and business developments? Do they also agree that the locations of the six border implementation bodies will enhance areas that have been deprived of positive development for so long? Having said that, I would like to welcome the Trade and Business Development Board to my home town of Newry. Do they also agree that following from that co-operation the North/South Ministerial Council will establish a co-ordinated and integrated approach to the development of the cross-border road links?
The Deputy First Minister:
I fully agree that what was decided yesterday, what we are reporting on today - which will be part of the ongoing political process - threatens no one. It is something that can and will be of benefit to the people of Ireland, North and South. It will be of benefit to people in every part of the island. In Northern Ireland especially, it gives an opportunity to diversify, to expand and to have the type of relationship with the South of Ireland which makes sense in the type of world we live in nowadays. The world has shrunk in such a way that Ireland is now, whichever part of it we speak about, a very small place, and it is only by partnership that threatens no one and that will threaten no one that we can maximise our influence in socioeconomic terms.
I fully agree with the Member regarding the locations. I believe that the institutions will be beneficial to the areas in which they are placed. They will have a substantial spin-off in terms of not just employment but also of status and in the type of involvement which we hope to encourage in terms of decentralisation as it applies in the application of these locations and surely will continue to apply in the various sectors of Government as we move along.
With regard to the Member's last question, would that the Minister who is in charge of roads were sitting on the North/South Ministerial Council. I assure the Member that this matter will not go by default because of his absence. It is a matter that is particularly dear to my heart - and other parts of my anatomy considering the state of the roads at present.
Mr K Robinson:
Can the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister confirm that the finance for the implementation bodies will be voted by the Assembly on an annual basis and that the House will therefore be able to check on their activities and how efficient they are? In these days of equality, East Antrim has been missed from the list of North/South bodies. For that I am thankful, but the best of it is that there are to be East/West bodies, and the towns of Larne, Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey are available to host them.
The First Minister:
It may interest Members to know that the Ullans agency that will deal with Ulster-Scots, while located in Belfast, does intend to have an outreach programme, which I am sure will not ignore East Antrim.
The answer to the most important first question about authority and accountability is simply "Yes". Finance for the implementation bodies will come through the Assembly and, of course, through the Dáil in Dublin. There is accountability to both institutions.
Mr A Maginness:
May I congratulate both the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister on the successful and historic first meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council which will, we hope, open a new chapter in relations between North and South.
May I ask the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister what is the status of the Memorandum of Understanding and Procedure which was referred to by Dr Paisley? May I also welcome the nominations to the boards of the North/South bodies and ask what criteria were used for choosing the members?
The Deputy First Minister:
The Memorandum of Understanding and Procedure is the product of very lengthy negotiations between officials North and South. Its function is to set out the arrangements for the proceedings and operation of the North/South Ministerial Council. Of course, the memorandum is not legally binding. Rather, as its name suggests, it represents simply an informal understanding between the two Administrations, North and South, on how the North/South Ministerial Council should operate. Either side can at any time propose changes to it, although any such changes will be adopted only by mutual agreement between the two sides, North and South.
It is important to note that nothing in the Memorandum of Understanding and Procedure overrides the Good Friday Agreement. Officials went to considerable efforts to root the memorandum very carefully in the provisions of that agreement. That is why, before every paragraph of the memorandum, is corresponding provisions of strand two of the Good Friday Agreement are reproduced in full. It was felt that it was appropriate to clarify that the Memorandum of Understanding and Procedure flowed directly from the agreement and was fully compatible with its provisions.
In relation to the boards, I thank the Assemblyman for his kind words. Fifty per cent of the board members were nominated by the Northern side of the North/South Ministerial Council and 50% by the Southern side.
It was important to have each board reflecting - [Interruption]
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is obvious that the Deputy First Minister is reading a prepared answer. Could it be that Ulster Unionist and SDLP Back-Benchers were handed "probing" questions this morning?
Order. It is perfectly in order for Ministers to use prepared briefs. I am sure that when the Member's Colleagues respond they will also be using well-prepared briefs.
The Deputy First Minister:
Mr Speaker, I sincerely hope that neither the Assemblyman nor any Member of the Assembly will expect Ministers to come here without adequate preparation.
It is important to cover the comprehensive span of the boards and, in some cases, the specific locations such as the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission. It is also important to draw on experience from the private as well as the public sector, for example, in the Trade and Business Development Body.
It was important to secure the diversity of cultural backgrounds, for example, in the Languages Board. I should like to make clear that the procedures for public appointments as set down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments do not apply to appointments to implementation boards. It was not, in any case, practicable to use these procedures as it was necessary to appoint board members quickly so that the implementation bodies could start working.
Mr Speaker, I have not given advance notice of this question to either the First Minister or the Deputy First Minister. I am surprised that the First Minister has put his name to a communiqué and a statement which clearly made a fundamental mistake in the naming of the city which lies at the mouth of the Foyle. I would like to remind Members that the Loughs Agency will be based in Londonderry, and I hope that the First Minister will not in future sign any documents which get that wrong. It is Londonderry and will remain Londonderry.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I listened clearly and heard "Londonderry".
The communiqué issued yesterday did not say Londonderry, and the statement in my hand does not say Londonderry. It is Londonderry and will remain Londonderry. I hope the First Minister remembers that, and if it sticks in the throats - [Interruption]
Order. This is an opportunity for the Member to ask a question.
Is the First Minister aware of the implications of the Loughs Agency for the Carlingford Lough area? Is he aware that it will have control not only of the lough but also of all the rivers flowing into it? This will mean that a huge area, including places as far away as Rathfriland, will be covered by bailiffs from the Irish Republic who will be based in an office in either Omeath or Greenore. Is he aware that bailiffs of the existing Fisheries Conservancy Board for Northern Ireland will be made redundant so that these new staff can be given their powers? Is he aware that fishermen from both sides of that community are incensed because they will have to buy licences from the Fisheries Conservancy Board and the Loughs Agency? One licence may have to be paid in sterling and the other in punts. This body is handing control of major fisheries such as the Clanrye, the Kilkeel River and the Whitewater into the hands of people who do not live in Northern Ireland and have no experience of controlling its fisheries. As a result of this decision, perfectly good staff will be made redundant.
The First Minister:
There are a number of assumptions in the second part of the question, and they are, at present, only that. The arrangements that will take place with regard to regulation will be analogous to those that have been in place in the Foyle River basin for 45 years. In respect of certain operations, bailiffs have worked on the Northern Ireland side and the Republic of Ireland side throughout those 45 years. The assumption that the new agency in Carlingford will immediately dispense with the services of all currently operating in that area, who know it well, and recruit new people is a bold one. I caution the Member to wait and see what will happen in practice.
With regard to the first question, as someone with quite a few ancestors in the city cemetery in Londonderry, I am well aware of the distinction which exists between Derry City Council and the City of Londonderry.
A Chathaoirligh. Ba mhaith liom ar dtús fearadh na fáilte a chur roimh an fhoras uile-Éireann don Ghaeilge, a bheidh suite i mBaile Átha Cliath agus i mBéal Feirste. Tá ceist na Gaeilge fíor-thábhachtach agus aithníonn an comhaontú an fhírinne seo. Cé gur maith an rud é go bhfuil an foras seo á chur ar bun, níl ann ach tús. An gcuireann an Chéad-Aire agus an LeasChéad-Aire fáilte roimhe seo agus an bhfuil siad sásta eolas a thabhairt dúinn ar bhallraíocht-
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you clarify if this is a statement or a question please?
I can. It is a number of questions.
Go raibh maith agat, a Derek as sin- ar ghnóthaí airgid agus ar phearsanra an fhorais?
Mr S Wilson:
Can you translate that for the rest of your party?
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Would the Members who are being derogatory about a particular language take the same attitude if Ulster-Scots were being spoken in the Chamber? It may happen at some point, given that there are now provisions for an implementation body to promote that language.
Maybe some of them will learn it.
It is important that we afford each other the courtesy of being heard and, if it is possible, the courtesies of understanding and being understood.
Mr Paisley Jnr:
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Would it not be courteous to the rest of the House for Members to ask questions in a language that the vast majority of other Members understand?
I have repeatedly requested that what is said be repeated in the language that people generally understand. If that does not happen, only the Clerks and I have a translation available, and that is to ensure a point of order. I am not sure whether, if it is not clarified in English, the First Minister or the Deputy First Minister will feel free to reply, although the Deputy First Minister may be in a better position to do so than the First Minister.
Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I remember quite a debate on this on the Standing Orders Committee, and it was decided that no extra time would be allowed for translation. While there is no specific time for questions, you have made it clear that they should be kept to a minimum. That being the case, is it fair to now allow a translation into English?
The time limit that existed in the past was in the Initial Standing Orders. The time limit that applies now is one hour for questions and answers, though when points of order are raised that time is not - under my instruction - taken out of the one-hour period.
The Deputy First Minister:
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Like Assemblyman McElduff I welcome the creation of the language bodies. I welcome the fact that both languages, Ullans and Irish, will now be matters for consideration, North and South, at that level. I would like to believe that all of us in the House regard our language, traditions and heritage as a part of our cultural being and not as a political flagship or a political issue with which to promote what we regard as our culture, or to denigrate anyone else's. It is that respect, and, indeed, self-respect, which should inspire anybody involved in these two bodies to try to create a cultural unity that will accommodate the type of cultural diversity which is so needed in our society.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. An dtig liom leanúint ar aghaidh leis an cheist?
May I continue with my question?
No, I am afraid you may not. I thought that I was calling the Deputy First Minister on a point of order. It is clear that he was responding to the question and giving a translation to the rest of the Members who did not understand it. It is for that reason that I had the clock started again. Clearly it was not a point of order, and Members are reasonably aware of what the question and the answer were.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. With respect, I did not get my entire question.
That is clear, but a number of Members were not able to put all their questions, and not all Members were entirely pleased when I raised a point of order on the continuation of the questions.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The First Minister said to my Colleague Mr Barry McElduff "Too bad." That does not show good leadership, and it certainly does not demonstrate that the First Minister is living up to his position. He should show a little more maturity, though I realise that he sometimes finds that difficult.
Order. Asking questions about how Ministers are or are not responding, though one may have one's own thoughts or feelings about them, is not in order.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Does the principle that someone speaking in a language other than English should translate into English for the rest of us still apply in spite of what has just happened?
That practice was established as a courtesy at my request. I cannot do more, for there is no such requirement. [Interruption]
Point of information, Mr Speaker.
I am afraid there is no such thing as a point of information, and it is not proper to intervene while I am responding to a point of order.
As far as this is concerned, there is a dilemma. If someone takes the opportunity to speak in a language which other Members do not understand and then translates, this comes out of the time for questions, and that is not entirely fair to other Members. This is the case no matter what the language, and it may raise the question of whether the House wishes to go down the road of translation.
This matter is not dealt with in Standing Orders. It is not something which I can facilitate, but in trying to be fair to all Members, I must point out that if we request or insist upon a translation, that will eat up the time for questions, and that will not be entirely fair either. It was dealt with differently under the Initial Standing Orders, in that there was a time limit of 10 minutes, and no matter what was being said, it came to an end then. That is not the situation now.
Mr Paisley Jnr:
Further to the point of order, Mr Speaker. Can you confirm that if a Member from Sinn Féin/IRA, or any other party, wishes to waste his time and energy speaking in a language that the vast majority of the rest of us do not understand, that is a waste of his time? Please do not waste our time by forcing us to listen twice to the same gobbledegook.
I do not think that speaking in terms of this kind about things that are important to other people is helpful, respectful or characteristic of the courtesy which Members in general have tried to show in the House.
Further to the point of order, Mr Speaker. I understand perfectly what you are saying with regard to Members affording other Members the courtesy of being heard, and I am sure we all agree. Do you agree that a recent disruption at a police community liaison meeting in Omagh by Mr McElduff and supporters of Sinn Féin -
Order. That is very clearly not a point of order and not relevant to the Chamber.
Taking into account the fact that the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister did not consult as widely as they would have wished in respect of the appointments or nominations, will the First Minister tell the Assembly how many of the usual suspects appointed as members of the implementation advisory boards have stood for election in Northern Ireland, and which parties they represented? Does the First or Deputy First Minister share with me a desire that all Assembly Members should have their cars fitted with karaoke machines?
The First Minister:
I am afraid that I did not catch the last question, so I am not in a position to respond. As to the substance of the first, I regret to say that I am not in a position to state how many of those appointed have stood for election either in Northern Ireland or in the Republic of Ireland, as the information is not available to me. I think maybe two. I see four digits are being held up by a Member. Whether it is possible to research that, I do not know. I cannot give that information.
As to the question of consultation, as we said earlier, there was an urgency to get things moving after the long delays, and I am sure Mr Ervine understands that. He will, I am sure, also understand that when we come to the more normal operation of these arrangements many opportunities will arise through Committees, through the Assembly and through specific consultations and debates to ensure that these institutions and co-operation schemes evolve with the widest possible consultation and involvement of the Assembly. It is our intention to be as transparent as we can in all of this. That is why we were happy to make this statement and, indeed, to respond to the questions. I am sure the hon Member will share with me the feeling that some of the questions could have been more focused so that not so much time was wasted.
Order. The time is up, and we must move to the next item of business. [Interruption]
It is not a question of whether Members wish to; it is a matter of abiding by the Standing Orders.
I will give a minute for the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister to relocate. In fact, the First Minister already has.