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  1. MLAs discussed Brexit and the impacts on Northern Ireland.
  2. Members debated the final stage of the Budget (No. 2) Bill.
  3. The First Minister, Arlene Foster, and the Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard, took to the floor in question time.
  4. The communities minister brought a number of motions to the house on the draft welfare supplementary payment regulations.

Live Reporting

By Robin Sheeran and Brooke Allen

All times stated are UK

Good evening

Deputy Speaker Patsy McGlone adjourns the assembly. 

Join us tomorrow morning for another plenary session starting at 10:30 BST.

Draft Renewables Obligation Closure Order

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton introduces a motion calling on members to approve a statutory rule.

He explains that the renewables obligation, or NIRO, has been the mechanism for incentivising renewable energy production in Northern Ireland since 2005.

The order refers to small-scale onshore wind power generation.

The minister says the threat to renewables industry is such that he felt the NIRO should close on 30 June.

Economy Committee chairperson Conor Murphy supports the move.

The motion is passed on an oral vote.

Draft Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations

Peter Weir introduces another motion on behalf of the Communities Minister.

The Draft Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations are approved on an oral vote.

Regulations agreed

The Draft Discretionary Support Regulations are agreed. 

Motion: Draft Discretionary Support Regulations

Mr Weir introduces a motion on Draft Discretionary Support Regulations. 

"Discretionary support is unique to Northern Ireland and will seek to assist those on low incomes, working or non-working, when an extreme, exceptional, or crisis situation arises, preventing a significant risk to the health, safety or well-being of either the person making the application, or their immediate family " he says. 

Regulations approved

Disability graphic

Peter Weir responds to the debate and thanks members for their interest in the motions, "even when they have been opposing them". 

The motion on the Draft Welfare Supplementary Payment (Loss of Disability Living Allowance) is not agreed on an oral vote and the house divides. 

The regulations are approved. 

The motion on the Draft Welfare Supplementary Payment (Loss of Disability-related Premiums) is agreed on an oral vote. 

The final motion on the Draft Welfare Supplementary Payment (Loss of Carer Payments) is also agreed on an oral vote. 

'Offends basic concepts of decency'

Sinn Féin's Fra McCann rises to support the motions. 

On the other hand, TUV Leader, Jim Allister, agrees with Andy Allen, that the perpetrator of a terrorist attack, who causes his disability out of his own act, is to be compensated and treated in the same way as an innocent victim. 

"The is amoral and it is something that offends basic concepts of decency," he says. 

"I am astounded that a minister from the DUP benches brings forward such an obscene proposal". 

UUP objections

Andy Allen
Andy Allen

Colum Eastwood, the Communities Committee chairperson, says, on behalf of the committee, he recommends that the assembly approves all 3 motions. 

However, Ulster Unionist Andy Allen, says the party "does not support the proposed mitigation for conflicted-related injury cases". 

"This will see perpetrators who set out to cause death, and indeed left many with disabilities, to receive the same mitigation package as innocent victims," he says. 

Welfare Supplementary Payments

Peter Weir

Education Minister Peter Weir brings three motions on Welfare Supplementary Payments on behalf of Communities Minister Paul Givan, who is unable to attend.

The motions concern mitigating changes to payments following the introduction of welfare reform legislation.

The Budget Bill passes

The Budget No.2 Bill passes on a cross community vote

The house divides

The house divides for a cross-community vote.

The minister responds

The Finance Minister, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, makes his concluding remarks, responding to MLAs who spoke on the debate. 

With Brexit dominating many of these remarks, the minister says we "must not be blind to the crisis that is unfolding". 

"In this budget we have made choices and I stand by those choices," he says. 

"I believe I present to the house, a budget that will meet our needs in the time ahead". 

200,000 jobs

Declan Kearney

Declan Kearney of Sinn Féin says it is "unacceptable that the democratic will of this region should be overruled by English voters".

He says that "200,000 jobs in Ireland directly and indirectly depend on 1.2bn euros worth of trade north and south on the island every week".

"Brexit directly weakens all of that and more."

Ministers to meet Taoiseach over Brexit

Northern Ireland Assembly tweets

'Pause and reflection' on corporation tax


Stephen Farry suggests that there should be "a pause and reflection on the way forward with corporation tax" as devolution of the taxation powers had been envisaged in the context of EU membership.

He says the budget is "not sufficiently sustainable, or strategic".

Finance minister should 'be vigilant'

Claire Hanna

The Finance Committee's deputy chairperson, Claire Hanna, says she does not share the enthusiasm of the "post Brexit world view" of the committee chair, Emma Pengelly. 

She asks the finance minister what strategies he will put in place to "be vigilant" to avoid a "raid" from a new UK government who "will not consider the differing needs that this region has". 

'Significant work done' in last mandate

Mr O'Dowd responds to Mr Smith's claim that there "has not been enough reform in the last 5 to 10 years". 

He says in the last mandate, there was "significant work done" and makes reference to changes such as extra funding for education and the implementation of the voluntary exit scheme in the public sector

Mr O'Dowd says he supports the Budget Bill. 

Sun 'hiding behind a financial cloud'

Philip Smith

Ulster Unionist Philip Smith talks about the failure of the previous executive to "reform and drive change" and says that means that this budget "fails to meet the needs of the people of Northern Ireland".

Sinn Féín's John O'Dowd says "the sun has been hiding behind a financial cloud for at least 7 to 8 years" and he talks about the idea of a "trickledown economy". 

"When things go wrong, the trickle turns into a tide of austerity against those at the very bottom of the stream and from the economic crash in 2007/2008, we have been dealing with the consequences of that tidal wave coming down the stream," he says. 

Northern Ireland 'needed a game-changer'

Finance Committee chairperson, Emma Pengelly, says Northern Ireland "needed a game-changer" as before this, "we had the shackles of the European Union". 

"Let us move on positively, working collaboratively to bring about the economic transformation we need and want to see. Let us see the opportunities, not the challenges," she says. 

Final stage: Budget (No. 2) Bill

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

MLAs are now debating the final stage of the Budget (No. 2) Bill. 

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir emphasises the "critical importance of the bill", and says the EU referendum result does not change the bill. 

He urges the young people who voted in "overwhelming numbers" to stay in the EU, not to be "downhearted" and not to be "forced from the path of creating a shared, diverse and prosperous society 

"It is my intention to ensure that our young people are not denied the bounty of Europe," he says. 

Motion passes

The motion passes on an oral vote. 

Leave campaign has 'no plan A'

Arlene Foster

In her response to the debate, First Minister Arlene Foster says the "coming weeks and months will present many challenges" but, reiterating her comments to the Executive Office Committee a few weeks ago, she says "whatever the outcome of the referendum, we will work to do whatever is right for the people of Northern Ireland". 

In conclusion, the Alliance Party's David Ford says we are "currently facing the biggest crisis in the UK since at least 1945". 

He says the "leave campaign in Northern Ireland has no plan A on what to do" with the result now they have won. 

TUV reaction

TUV leader Jim Allister says the day of the referendum result will go down in history as the day "the people of the United Kingdom shook off the shackles of the decomposing EU and began it's rebirth of an independent nation, outward looking to the rest of the world". 

He criticises the SDLP and says they are a party that "lectures us all in the purity of their commitment to democracy" and yet the party leader, Colum Eastwood, told the assembly today he "does not accept the result". 

People before Profit reject the 'rottenness' of the EU

Eamonn McCann

People before Profit's Eamonn McCann says although his party voted to leave, their position is "different to that of Boris Johnson" and the "leadership of the Remain side". 

Naomi Long of Alliance says Mr McCann may articulate his position but, "can he deliver it?". 

He replies that his party have "always rejected the rottenness that the EU represents". 

Farage's victory speech 'sickening'

The Alliance Party's Paula Bradshaw says the economic damage is "already apparent".

Green Party leader, Steven Agnew, says he found Nigel Farage's victory speech "sickening" and says the vote has thrown up a "degree of instability". 

'Different dynamic in the politics of these islands'

Alex Attwood

Speaking on nationalism, the SDLP's Alex Attwood says he found last week's result "upsetting, game-changing and with immense consequences". 

"There is now a different dynamic in the politics of these islands than there has been at any time over the last 50 years," he says. 

EU withdrawal debate continues

EU Flag
Getty Images

MLAs return to the debate on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. 

Taking the train to the airport

Belfast International Airport

Alliance leader David Ford asks about progress being made on reopening the Knockmore railway line and building a connection to Belfast International Airport.

Mr Hazzard says passenger numbers would need to rise "to around 10m to make a regular service viable".

He says the reopening of the Knockmore line remains " a long-term option only".

Infrastructure Questions

Chris Hazzard

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard is taking from questions from members in his first Question Time since his appointment.

Reassurance for EU nationals

EU and UK Flags

Alex Maskey of Sinn Féin asks for reassurance for EU nationals living in Northern Ireland.

Mrs Foster says she wants to "reassure them that we absolutely value what they give to Northern Ireland, and what they have contributed to Northern Ireland". 

'Mandate of instruction'

Ballot box

The SDLP's Nichola Mallon asks the first minister how she will carry out "the mandate of instruction" of the Northern Ireland electorate who voted to remain in the EU.

Mrs Foster replies that "the campaign is over. The vote has been taken and now our focus in the executive, and in particular between the deputy first minister and myself is to make sure Northern Ireland's interests are preserved in terms of the negotiations to leave".

Corporation tax and the Azores judgement

Paul Girvan

The DUP's Paul Girvan asks about the potential effect of the referendum result on the devolution of corporation tax given that the EU Azores judgement "is no longer a priority".

Mrs Foster says that the Azores judgement meant Northern Ireland would have had to pay for the devolution of corporation tax through the Westminster block grant.

She says this is something "we will now want to explore with HM Treasury".

Brexit and funding for victims services

Colum Eastwood

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood asks about the sustainability of the services provided by the Victims and Survivors' Service.

Mr Eastwood says the services depend on "£17.6m over three years" of European Union Peace IV programme funding.

He wants to know how this will be affected by the vote to leave the EU.

Junior Minister Alastair Ross says "we have at least two more years of programme that can run," and that a more sustainable programme" must be developed for the future.

Question Time

Question Time

First Minister Arlene Foster is answering members' questions.

'An absolute mess'

Stephen Farry

Stephen Farry of Alliance says this may be "the most serious issue facing the United Kingdom since World War Two".

He says the result of the referendum must be accepted, adding that Northern Ireland is "very much a place apart".

"No-one is in control. We are in an absolute mess," he says.

SDLP warned people about 'the carnival of reaction'

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna says her party warned people about the "carnival of reaction that would follow Brexit" and she says "we are seeing it now". 

Ms Hanna says the members who want to make this an "orange or green issue" is another "dereliction of duty". 

"We also need a government who wants to represent everybody here and not party interests," she says. 

Young people 'have been let down'

Catherine Seeley

Sinn Féin's Catherine Seeley describes the result as "heart wrenching" as the "vast majority" of 18 - 25 year olds voted to remain. 

She expresses her solidarity for young people across Britain who "have been let down" and says these young people will be affected most by the result. 

She emphasises the "urgent need" for the assembly to lower the voting age to 16 and says that young people proved they were "much wiser than many others" on Thursday. 

Message of 'hope, not despair'

Emma Pengelly

The DUP's Emma Pengelly gives assurances that the first minister of Northern Ireland will "roll up her sleeves and fight fearlessly for the people of Northern Ireland", whether they voted to leave or remain in EU. 

She says people need to "not listen to the hysteria" but rather they need to "buckle down" and embrace the opportunities. 

In conclusion, she tells the house that "our message today is one of hope, not despair". 

Scotland's first minister will 'fail in what she is doing'

Edwin Poots

The DUP's Edwin Poots says "this nation will stay together" and that Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will "fail in what she is doing". 

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC that Holyrood could try to block the UK's exit from the EU.  

Sinn Féin's John O'Dowd says the United Kingdom is "not united" and "the islands are divided like they have never been divided before".

He says he hopes he "can be confident" that the opposition will work with the executive on the impacts of Brexit. 

Rush for Irish passports

BBC NI reporter Gordon Adair tweets