All Members in this Chamber would like to see the Stormont Assembly restored, but we tabled these self-executing clauses because we recognised that the human rights of the people of Northern Ireland should not be abandoned in the face of political indecision. It now falls on us to hold the Secretary of State to account for how he is enacting the provisions. We are 35 days away from the possibility that these clauses will become law, so will he give us some more detail? In particular, he talks about consultation. Can he confirm whether there is going to be public involvement in that consultation? It is really important for this House to be clear that, just as we would not ask non-medical professionals to consult on how to conduct a vasectomy, we should not do so when it comes to an abortion.
We also need to understand the Secretary of State’s timeline. I agree with the concerns raised across the House about the interim period, and about what will happen when we decriminalise sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 on
With 35 days to go, what is the Secretary of State’s message to women in Northern Ireland who will need an abortion on
The Government said that they wanted more time. That is why they amended this clause in the House of Lords. Everybody here has talked about the importance of dealing with that interim period. It will not be dealt with by law; it will dealt with by regulation. So will the Secretary of State set out precisely what regulations he is looking at now so that when we get to that 35-day period we can shorten it and give everybody here comfort that the human rights of the women of Northern Ireland will continue to be upheld?