Laurence Robertson (Shadow Minister, Northern Ireland; Tewkesbury, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent representations he has received from (a) individuals and (b) organisations in Northern Ireland asking in favour of a review of the legislation on abortion as it affects Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
Paul Goggins (Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office; Wythenshawe and Sale East, Labour)
The Northern Ireland Office has received a number of representations from interested parties on all sides of the debate on the abortion law in Northern Ireland. The Government's position remains that the best forum for discussion of these matters is the Northern Ireland Assembly when it assumes responsibility for the criminal law. While the precise timing of the devolution of policing and justice is a matter for the Assembly, an agreed process is underway that will lead to the transfer of policing and justice powers, including responsibility for the criminal law relating to abortion.