Abortion in Northern Ireland and Alabama

11th June 2019

Abortion remains a highly sensitive issue, regardless of where your view lies and one where it is important that the matter is considered with due care and sensitivity. When the issue of abortion has been debated in the House it has been as a matter of conscience and has been conducted as a free vote; and the same applies in Northern Ireland.

I firmly welcome the Government’s position, which has been outlined on many occasions by the Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, that the best way forward is for locally accountable politicians in Northern Ireland to make decisions. Restoring the Executive remains the Secretary of State’s key priority and it is very positive news that a new phase of talks began on the 7th May.

It is important to note, however, that the Government has acted in this area: since 29 June last year women from Northern Ireland have had access to free abortion procedures performed in England.  This decision strikes an appropriate balance between respecting the devolution settlement and supporting women from Northern Ireland to access safe and affordable abortion services in England.

Regarding the abortion legislation in Alabama, the UK has a close relationship with the US at all levels. Our friendship does not preclude disagreement with any of our allies and where these exist, my colleagues in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be afraid to make these clearly heard.

Ten Climate Actions To Celebrate

The Cotswolds

1. The UK passed the world’s first Climate Change Act over a decade ago with cross-party support. This gave us both a framework to set statutory carbon budgets and set up the independent Committee on Climate Change.

Latest Newsletter

Meeting between Chief Constable and Gloucestershire MPs

It has been 1,317 days since the result of the Brexit Referendum, I am sure I am not the only one who feels it has been longer, but tonight at 11 pm the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force and we will be leaving the EU immediately.

31st January 2020

View The Cotswolds in a larger map