Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:19 pm on 5th June 2018.

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Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 3:19 pm, 5th June 2018

Today’s debate is undoubtedly about whether that is the right approach, but I want to be clear that, in the Republic of Ireland, a referendum is required for constitutional change. That is not the situation in the United Kingdom, including in Northern Ireland. I want to be clear that there are very significant differences. We do not know what the Irish law will look like. That has to be debated and then taken through both Houses of the Irish Parliament. We cannot simply read across from the vote. The referendum was decided by the people of Ireland, and the process is now to be taken forward by the Irish Government. It is clearly a matter for the Irish, and it should not be implied that that should automatically extend to the people of Northern Ireland.