At midnight tonight the deadline will pass for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive to prevent changes to legislation on abortion and same-sex marriage. Following this, the Government must legislate for abortion and equal marriage in Northern Ireland.
As the deadline approaches, Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:
“The time for inequality in Northern Ireland is over. For decades, women in Northern Ireland have been subject to laws that have violated their human rights. With the midnight deadline rapidly approaching, this will finally come to an end.
“Despite a last minute stunt by the DUP, and a lack of support by this Conservative Government on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, we are finally closing the curtain on the historic inequalities in Northern Ireland.
“The Liberal Democrats have a proud history of standing up for women’s rights and LGBT+ rights, from the Abortion Act 1967, to Liberal Democrats legislating for same-sex marriage in Government. And we will keep fighting for further progress.
“In the next few months the Liberal Democrats will not take anything for granted and will work to ensure that the necessary changes to the law are made so that women in Northern Ireland have a right to seek an abortion and anyone can marry the person they love.”
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for N-E Derbyshire, Cllr Ross Shipman, added:
“This is the ultimate in hypocrisy from the DUP – picking and choosing which British laws they want in Northern Ireland. It is not the place of the state to decide what is in a woman’s best interests or whether two people should have the right to marry.
“The Liberal Democrats and, historically, the Liberal Party have championed the equality for a woman’s rights to choose and for the LGBT community to have the same freedoms as heterosexual couples.
“These are fundamental human rights; and not bargaining chips for fundamentalists such as the DUP to hold personal freedoms to ransom.”