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Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 Viscount Younger of Leckie moved that the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March be approved. Then Baroness O'Loan moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because (1) the Northern Ireland Assembly is now sitting and the matter is devolved to that legislature; (2) the Regulations raise “complex legal and constitutional questions” in the view of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee; (3) the Regulations go beyond the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 in that they undermine the devolution settlement in respect of education as well as abortion policy; (4) there has been no public consultation on the Regulations; and (5) the Regulations were laid shortly before the parliamentary Easter recess, which prevented the House considering them before they took effect.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 2). Then Lord Morrow moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because (1) rather than expressing the reality of the union between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, they place that union in jeopardy, depending as they do on the power in section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which was passed despite all of the Members of Parliament representing seats in Northern Ireland who had taken their seats at Westminster voting against amending the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill on 9 July 2019 to require the Secretary of State to make regulations to give effect to the recommendations of the report of the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, published on 6 March 2018;
(2) abortion remains devolved and the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive have now been restored for more than a year; (3) rather than welcoming the restoration of devolution, the draft Regulations undermine it to a greater extent than the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 as they address devolved policy competencies beyond abortion, including education and health; and (4) the remit of everything in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 is defined in terms of moving towards the restoration of the Executive which has taken place, so rather than making new regulations as if Stormont was still suspended, and asking Parliament to pass them, Her Majesty’s Government should instead be asking Parliament to repeal section 9.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 3). Then Lord Shinkwin moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because they give the Secretary of State the power actively to commission discrimination in Northern Ireland by denying unborn human beings with disabilities the same protections afforded non-disabled human beings between 24 weeks gestation and full term; and because such commissioning would implicate the Secretary of State, and by extension Her Majesty’s Government, in the perpetuation of negative stereotypes towards people with disabilities, as it would provide that while unborn non-disabled human beings from 24 weeks’ gestation are worthy of protection from termination, those who might be born with disabilities are not.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 4). After debate, the original motion was agreed to.

Wednesday 28 April 2021 between 14:46 and 16:57

This type of business sits within the Delegated Legislation category.

Summary

Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 Viscount Younger of Leckie moved that the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March be approved. Then Baroness O'Loan moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because (1) the Northern Ireland Assembly is now sitting and the matter is devolved to that legislature; (2) the Regulations raise “complex legal and constitutional questions” in the view of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee; (3) the Regulations go beyond the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 in that they undermine the devolution settlement in respect of education as well as abortion policy; (4) there has been no public consultation on the Regulations; and (5) the Regulations were laid shortly before the parliamentary Easter recess, which prevented the House considering them before they took effect.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 2). Then Lord Morrow moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because (1) rather than expressing the reality of the union between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, they place that union in jeopardy, depending as they do on the power in section 9 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, which was passed despite all of the Members of Parliament representing seats in Northern Ireland who had taken their seats at Westminster voting against amending the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Bill on 9 July 2019 to require the Secretary of State to make regulations to give effect to the recommendations of the report of the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, published on 6 March 2018;
(2) abortion remains devolved and the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive have now been restored for more than a year; (3) rather than welcoming the restoration of devolution, the draft Regulations undermine it to a greater extent than the Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 as they address devolved policy competencies beyond abortion, including education and health; and (4) the remit of everything in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 is defined in terms of moving towards the restoration of the Executive which has taken place, so rather than making new regulations as if Stormont was still suspended, and asking Parliament to pass them, Her Majesty’s Government should instead be asking Parliament to repeal section 9.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 3). Then Lord Shinkwin moved, as an amendment to the motion in the name of Viscount Younger of Leckie, to leave out all the words after “that” and insert “this House declines to approve the Regulations laid before the House on 23 March because they give the Secretary of State the power actively to commission discrimination in Northern Ireland by denying unborn human beings with disabilities the same protections afforded non-disabled human beings between 24 weeks gestation and full term; and because such commissioning would implicate the Secretary of State, and by extension Her Majesty’s Government, in the perpetuation of negative stereotypes towards people with disabilities, as it would provide that while unborn non-disabled human beings from 24 weeks’ gestation are worthy of protection from termination, those who might be born with disabilities are not.” The amendment was disagreed to (see division 4). After debate, the original motion was agreed to.
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