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

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:20 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Scotland Office) (jointly with the Northern Ireland Office) 8:20 pm, 16th October 2019

We have heard thoughtful and at times vociferous contributions from Members in all parts of the House. It is clear that, while there are very disparate views on the issue of abortion, the House wants the Northern Ireland Executive to be restored in the shortest possible order. I think everyone who has spoken today has spoken in favour of that.

Let me, however, make clear to Stella Creasy that the Government have no intention of amending the legislation. She spoke about the Executive and the Assembly. She was right to say that the legislation refers to the restoration of the Executive, and Gavin Robinson was also right to say that an Assembly needs to be in place for the Executive to be restored. It is clear that if that happens on 21 October, the Government’s requirement under the Act to legislate on these matters will fall away, and it will be for the Assembly and the Executive to take matters forward. If it does not happen, the Government will act as they are required to do by the legislation. I hope that that gives the hon. Lady some reassurance following the concerns that she has raised.