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Human Fertilisation and Embryology

Part of Living Wage (Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 2:29 pm on 3rd February 2015.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton 2:29 pm, 3rd February 2015

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Once we approve this procedure, where will it lead? The answer has to be that we stop here and say, “This is a red line in our country, as in every other country in the world, that we will not cross.” This is the place for that to be said. As MPs, we are accountable to the people of this country.

The Government’s own consultation in July 2014 received 1,857 responses, of which 1,152 were opposed to the introduction of these techniques. That has been confirmed by ComRes polling last weekend, which showed that more than twice as many people are against these proposals as are in favour—41% of respondents, compared with 21%. A third public survey, being conducted today on The Daily Telegraph website, shows that as of this morning 68% of the public oppose these techniques in principle. Do their concerns not deserve respect from those of us present here?

The truth is that the Government have not waited for the conclusion of trials, as they should have done, so that this House could make a fully informed decision, and that is wrong. Whether one ultimately approves or disapproves of these proposals, the right procedure on such a profound issue is for the elected representatives of the people of this country to have full information before being rushed into a decision, as we would be today if we voted for these proposals.