Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:41 pm on 5th June 2018.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit) 4:41 pm, 5th June 2018

That is one of the reasons why I believe that the legislation we have in Northern Ireland is balanced. It respects both the health of the woman and the rights of the unborn child—reflecting, by the way, what the United Nations says in its charter on the rights of unborn children. I believe that we have the correct balance, and if there are hard cases that have to be looked at, we have the process in place for doing it.

The one thing I would say to Members here is that the devolved settlement allows us to make those decisions. I believe that those decisions and the way in which people vote for parties in Northern Ireland reflect the fact that, by and large, they are content with that. Of course, it will not satisfy everyone. There are people who are opposed to the legislation, but I believe that the legislation we have reflects the views of the people of Northern Ireland. That is what devolution is all about. That is why the decision should not be made in this House and why we certainly should not have a change in the law that leaves no protection at all for people in Northern Ireland, because it would leave a legislative vacuum.