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Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 Section 3(5)

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 7:55 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Labour, Birmingham, Yardley 7:55 pm, 16th October 2019

My hon. Friend makes an incredible point, and that is something we were told again and again when I and colleagues from across the House visited Northern Ireland with the Women and Equalities Committee. We absolutely met with Church groups and pro-life groups, but we also met women who had been victims and had not been able to escape. We met migrant women who would not have had the paperwork to travel. We met lots of women who told us how tortuous the journey had been, as we heard earlier.

I think—in fact I do not just think, I know, because this House has voted for it—that this House wants the situation to change. This House wants things to change under the auspices of the powers in Northern Ireland, but that has not happened before this date. I therefore seek some more assurances from the Minister that this is not an issue that can just be given back to the Assembly halfway through. One of our colleagues from Northern Ireland made the point earlier that if a recall is successful over the next few days, there would be a First Minister in place if the Assembly is recalled as opposed to the Executive being formed—[Hon. Members: “Nobody said that.”] I am afraid somebody definitely did say that.