Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill, a private Member’s ballot bill, was published earlier in the week, with the Explanatory Notes, and was given unanimous Second Reading in the Commons on Friday after 90 minutes of debate. The Bill extends to England & Wales only, though it includes an interesting provision about not recognising marriages and civil partnerships of under-18s domiciled in England & Wales which have been contracted in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Expressing the Government’s support for the Bill, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Tom Pursglove, reminded the House that it was considering measures that relate to England and Wales and, though he wanted the UK “to live up to the rhetoric towards which we ask others to work” and that it was “right that directly elected politicians in Northern Ireland and in Scotland reach the decisions that are appropriate for the communities that they serve … what we are dealing with here is a very serious matter that relates to the welfare and wellbeing of young people. I would like to think that the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly will want to level up their provisions in the way that we are doing today with this Bill, so that, as one United Kingdom, we have a consistent position”. Continue reading