Briefing note on Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill – House of Commons (second reading)
The Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill, which was first introduced into the House of Lords, has its Second Reading scheduled in the House of Commons on 12 October 2022. The bill generally reflects draft legislation published alongside the 2020 New Decade New Approach (NDNA) deal, which contained three bills – one on the Irish language, another on the Ulster Scots/Ulster British Commissioner, and a third to establish an Office of Identity and Cultural Expression.
CAJ’s main interest in the bill relates to compliance with treaty-based obligations to both Irish and Ulster Scots speakers as linguistic minorities. CAJ is generally supportive of the bill in its progression of long-standing commitments to legislate to protect the Irish language and insofar as it can progress treaty-based obligations for Ulster Scots. However, our briefing also raises a number of questions for clarification at the Second Reading Stage.
Download the full submission here.