Results 1–20 of 1700 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Karen Bradley

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I thank the hon. Member for Walthamstow (Stella Creasy) for this question and I once again pay tribute to her and to all the other hon. Members who contributed to the debate on these issues in the House on Tuesday. I recognise the strength of feeling and the personal stories that lie behind this issue, many of which we heard on Tuesday. That is the case regardless of where people’s...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I know that the hon. Lady feels strongly about this issue. The whole House will have heard her words, which were delivered with such passion, but we need to be clear about what the Court was considering. It was looking specifically at the laws in Northern Ireland. She talked about a clear finding, but the Court has not made a declaration of incompatibility. In fact, on fatal foetal...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I thank my right hon. Friend. I agree that this is another example—one that affects people’s lives—of why it is so important that politicians in Northern Ireland come together and form a Government, and it is quite right that they should do so. They represent their constituents in Northern Ireland. and they know what their constituents want. I am sure that they will have...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I put on record how much I appreciated the hon. Gentleman’s thoughtful and thought-provoking contribution to the debate on Tuesday. Some Members have suggested that repealing sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 would somehow enable politicians in Northern Ireland to come together to create the laws that are right for Northern Ireland. Let us be clear that this...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: My hon. Friend is right. The laws on abortion in Northern Ireland were not devolved at the time of the devolution settlements in the 1990s; these laws have always sat with Stormont since it was first founded and since it first sat in the 1920s. It is therefore right, constitutionally and morally, that these decisions are taken in Stormont.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: As I said in my opening remarks, at 143 pages there is a lot to digest in this judgment. Together with my officials and lawyers, I will make sure that we have gone through every point of the judgment in order to make a final determination, but I think the hon. Lady would agree that where matters are devolved they should rightly be dealt with by the devolved legislature that has responsibility...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: Again, my hon. Friend makes his long-standing views on this matter known, and I am sure the politicians in Northern Ireland will have heard them.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: The questions the hon. Lady asks bring into question the whole constitutional arrangements we have and who and which legislature is responsible for which action. I repeat that my urgent priority is to get the parties back to Stormont, to get that devolved Government up and running so that they can rightly make the decisions in the interests of the constituents who elected them.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: My hon. Friend always has an ability to use an appropriate turn of phrase to put his finger adeptly on the problem.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: It is those personal stories and the reality of the situations in which women find themselves that really bring home why it is so important that this matter is addressed, but I repeat that it needs to be addressed in Stormont by politicians elected in Northern Ireland—that is the right way to deal with this issue.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: My hon. Friend is right. As well as the Supreme Court judgment, we have today received the figures for women who have travelled to Great Britain for abortions. In 2016, the figure was 724 women, and in 2017 it was 919, following the Government’s announcement that we would ensure that all costs were covered. It is not a perfect solution, but it does at least show the House’s intent.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I understand the hon. Lady’s intent. I, too, have met many organisations and people in Belfast and, in so many ways, this is something that tugs at the heartstrings and makes one want to act. But it is clear that taking rash action that may produce the wrong result is not the right approach. We need time to digest the judgment and to consider what it means, and we need those politicians...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I want to see Stormont back and functioning. It always feels like a tragedy to me to walk around an empty Parliament building, which Stormont is, rather than seeing it active and making the decisions that the politicians were elected to make. I will speak to the parties later today, and I will continue to do so, because I want to see the parties coming back together. I want devolved...

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I do not want to get into what is stopping the parties getting back together. All I will say is that the hon. Gentleman sums up the situation well, and it is right that we should have those politicians coming back together, doing the right thing as Ministers in Northern Ireland, and making these decisions.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: My hon. Friend is right that the last time this matter was debated in Stormont—in 2016—the Bill was rejected. That is part of the reason why we have this case before us today. I have spoken to all the parties about this matter, and I will continue to do so.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: We need to go through the judgment, which is detailed, and consider it carefully. The way to resolve this issue has to be with Stormont; that has to be the place in which to resolve this.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: What my hon. Friend does pick up, however, is that the constitutional implications of decisions that we take in this House regarding devolved matters should be considered and not taken lightly. They need to be carefully thought about because of implications for other parts of the United Kingdom.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: There are many views that we all need to consider in the judgment. As I have said, we will spend a significant amount of time looking at the judgment and considering the points that have been made, but I do come back to the point that this matter needs to be dealt with by the politicians who have been elected by the people of Northern Ireland.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: Clearly there is much that needs to be done, but it needs to be done in Stormont. That is why locally elected politicians need to come back together to form that devolved Government.

Supreme Court Ruling: Abortion in Northern Ireland (7 Jun 2018)

Karen Bradley: I am afraid that I simply disagree with the hon. Gentleman.


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