Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:55 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 7:55 pm, 8th June 2020

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend on his last point.

This is not—I repeat not—a quickie divorce bill, and he is right to say that we in this House owe it to all our constituents to send the right message. Let me put it straight—this is a matter that he might not agree with: I do not believe that issues of reform of the process of divorce are germane to the issue of marriage itself. The question that was posed by my hon. Friend Steve Brine is indeed the right one, about society’s attitudes to relationships, the values that are inculcated in young people, and the level of understanding and insight into the nature, degree and complexity of the commitment to join in union, whether it is marriage or civil partnership. All of those are actually the relevant issues to the future of marriage and this Bill will not, should not, and does not have a consequence for those issues.