§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress with the International Fund for Ireland; and if he plans to bring forward any further statutory instruments to give legal effect to the fund.
§ Mr. Scott
The agreement to set up the international fund was signed by the United Kingdom and Irish 235W Governments on 18 September, and was laid before the House on 1 October in accordance with usual practice. Notifications of acceptance were subsequently exchanged in Dublin on 1 December and the fund will be brought into being on 12 December.
The draft International Fund for Ireland (Immunities and Privileges) Order given the fund a legal personality and exemption from direct taxation was laid before the House on 27 October, as required under the International Organisations Act 1968. It was approved before a House of Commons Standing Committee on 4 November and the House of Lords on 5 November, and was made by the Queen in Council on 25 November. No further statutory instruments are necessary to give legal effect to the fund. The board to administer the fund will be formally appointed on 12 December and will begin its work immediately.