Abortion in Northern Ireland

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 25th March 2021.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 11:25 am, 25th March 2021

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will see that our laying these regulations now is a clear indication that we are not in a position where we think it is appropriate for this to be dragged on much further. Obviously, there is a process through this House; the regulations are subject to the affirmative resolution procedure, so the House will discuss and debate them. I passionately hope that, in the next few weeks, while this House is doing that, there is still time for the Department of Health and the Northern Ireland Executive to take this on board and take it forward in a way that is right and appropriate for them, with the expertise that they have locally, and to do so driven by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland. However, we are taking this power as a clear indication that that cannot go on indefinitely and they do need to take action.