Virtually all of Northern Ireland’s politicians are united in their desire to prevent the region coming into line with GB on the issue of abortion. It is a subject that excites great passion and we could see a huge row at Westminster come the autumn. A group of backbench MPs – Labour and Conservative - have tabled an amendment to the Human Embryology and Fertilisation Bill that would change the law to bring NI in line with GB.
This Bill could have completed its Commons stages before the Recess and it is believed that Gordon Brown would have preferred that it had. However, apparently Harriet Harman ensured it didn’t and thus facilitated this amendment. Ironically, it could be used to Brown’s advantage. He could threaten to do nothing to prevent the passage of the amendment and say to the DUP and SF that if they want to prevent it becoming law all they need to do is to agree to devolved criminal justice matters by the autumn.