This morning, 15 May, the House of Commons held a debate in Westminster Hall initiated by Mrs Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con) on the minimum age for marriage and civil partnership. Following is a brief summary of the opening and closing speeches.
Mrs Latham began by saying that the debate was about whether the House should consider increasing the legal age of marriage and civil partnership in the UK to 18. The ability to marry under the age of 18 with the consent of parents was “an important legal anomaly; I would argue that it is an absurdity. The reality of child marriage is extremely complex and wide-reaching” and she suggested that the fact that it is possible to marry at 16
“effectively means that child marriage is written into British [sic] law, which is held up as a guiding light in legal systems across the world. By not changing it, we give regimes an excuse to say, ‘What’s good for the British is good for us’.” Continue reading