Amendment 12

Part of Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 17th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 8:15 pm, 17th July 2019

Let me answer my noble friend Lord Elton. If we are not able to move it forward, it will not be just an instruction—he is quite right—but the law. That is different, because it will be the law that will move forward, and we as a Government will struggle with that deliver what we need, which is a safe and secure system that places women at its heart. We will not be able to do so in the time limit we have set out, and that is the reason we have a problem. My noble friend Lord Elton, is absolutely right: we are not talking about an instruction. This is a law that will come into force, which we will have some difficulty trying to maintain and will potentially allow itself to be opened up to further judicial interrogation and review. Ultimately, this will do a disservice to honourable Member in the other place who has tried to move this forward in the manner in which he has.