Report on civil partnership

Part of Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc.) Bill – in the House of Commons at 11:37 am on 26th October 2018.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis Conservative, Banbury 11:37 am, 26th October 2018

I intend to speak very briefly—no cheers, please! This is a great Bill, and it is great that the Government are taking it seriously. I want it to get on as quickly as possible, but I must first convey my thanks to my dear friend, Mrs Hodgson, who has spoken so passionately on these subjects. We have had tears and laughter, which is as it should be. If we cannot talk with passion and enthusiasm about birth, marriage and death, what on earth are we here for? Speaking as a serious Government lawyer specialising in inquests and as a bereaved parent, I think it is great that both those skill sets, if you like, and life experiences have been brought together to enable me to play my small part in forming a law on this subject.

I cannot speak highly enough of my hon. Friend Tim Loughton who, with his own unique mix of sarcasm and charm, has managed to persuade the Government to feel competitive about getting the different elements of the Bill into law. He has given us a challenge, and this is now a race. We have to work out whether we can marry or give birth first and then, if the birth goes wrong, whether we can register it. It is right that we take this seriously, because these are desperately serious issues, particularly the registration of stillbirths and when and how we as a society should consider these matters.