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

The challenge that my noble friend sets me is a difficult one. I cannot give a guarantee in that regard because I am not in a position to control the situation in Northern Ireland nor the medical profession. It is beyond my ability to do so. What I have said is that before we have been able to bring in the necessary elements of the new regime, there will be a period during which we will be bound by the established earlier Act from the 1940s which will give the confidence that we are not seeking to undermine in any sense the practice that has gone on there. But we have to recognise that during that limbo period, health practitioners, doctors and others will not be in receipt of guidance from us because we will not be in a position to draft that guidance by that point and that will be the reality that we will face. It is not one, unfortunately, that I can answer or offer or afford any guarantees on.