Strengthening Families — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 2:41 pm on 8th February 2018.

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Photo of Edward Leigh Edward Leigh Conservative, Gainsborough 2:41 pm, 8th February 2018

I intervened on our hon. Friend Tim Loughton last Friday, saying that there are unintended consequences to consider. I made the point that if he gets his way, everybody, of whatever sex, will be able to marry anybody they like, or have a civil partnership with anybody they like. The only people who would not be able to have a civil partnership are siblings.

I raised this issue in 2004, when the first Act on civil partnerships—the Civil Partnership Act 2004—got through. I had been written to by two sisters who had lived together all their lives, but when one dies the other one will be forced from their home. Like my right hon. Friend Sir Desmond Swayne, I have an open mind on this subject, but if we are going to reform the law we have got to think of the unintended consequences. It would be fatuous if anybody can have a civil partnership or marriage apart from siblings.