Equal rights for people of Northern Ireland (No. 2)

Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:01 pm on 24th October 2018.

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‘(1) In the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers to address the matters identified by recent, current and future court proceedings in relation to the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State must issue guidance to senior officers of all Northern Ireland departments which will specify how to exercise their functions in relation to—

(a) the incompatibility of the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland with the continued enforcement of sections 58 and 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 with the Human Rights Act 1998, and

(b) the incompatibility of the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland with the continued enforcement of section 13(e) of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978

where they pertain to the provision and management of public services in Northern Ireland.

(2) The Secretary of State shall report guidance under this section on a quarterly basis to the House of Commons and set out her plans to address the impact of the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers on human rights obligations within three months of the day on which this Act is passed.”—(Stella Creasy.)

This new clause would increase accountability of the Secretary of State and senior officers of Northern Ireland departments for their role in ensuring human rights compliance in Northern Ireland, in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, by requiring them to address incompatibilities between legislation applied in Northern Ireland and human rights obligations.

Brought up,

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The House divided:

Ayes 207, Noes 117.

Division number 250 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill — New Clause 7 — Equal Rights for People of Northern Ireland

A majority of MPs voted to require the UK Government to issue guidance to to senior officers of all Northern Ireland departments on the subject of human rights, particularly in the context of abortion law.

Aye: 204 MPs

No: 112 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 327 MPs

Abstained: 3 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

Abstaineds: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

New clause 7 read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair.

Bill, as amended, reported.

Third Reading

Queen’s consent signified.

Question put forthwith (Order, this day), That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The House divided:

Ayes 344, Noes 26.

Division number 251 Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill — Third Reading

A majority of MPs voted to extend the time period for within which Northern Ireland ministers can be appointed to run until at least 26 March 2019.

Aye: 344 MPs

No: 26 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 276 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.