Clause 1 - Marriage: increase of minimum age to 18

Part of Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:25 am on 12th January 2022.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham 9:25 am, 12th January 2022

I congratulate my hon. Friend on this important Bill. I welcome her to the club of someone who will have a private Member’s Act amending the Marriage Act 1949.

May I ask for two points of clarification? I am pleased that she has applied the measure to non-formal religious marriages. First, will she clarify whether the marriage of someone of 15 or 16 in Scotland or Northern Ireland who gets married without coercion, but with the approval of parents, will be recognised in England and Wales? Secondly, given this important legislation, does she now think that there are other areas of this whole grey area of what constitutes a child—16 or 17, up to 18 —that the Government need to look at as well?