Belfast Telegraph

Theresa May tells MPs 'politics makes abortion reform in Northern Ireland impossible'

Theresa May has been urged to support liberalisation of Northern Ireland's laws (Leon Neal/PA)
Theresa May has been urged to support liberalisation of Northern Ireland's laws (Leon Neal/PA)

Theresa May has reportedly told a group of MPs the current political climate makes it impossible for reform of Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

The Prime Minister has been under increasing pressure to introduce reform from Westminster after the historic vote in the Republic of Ireland which will see reform of its abortion laws.

However, given her reliance on the DUP to prop up her minority government she has warned that to introduce any measure would be difficult given the need for support over the coming months as Brexit approaches, the Guardian has reported.

It was also claimed, she feels that to take the step would hamper efforts to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

It comes after the Prime Minister held discussions with MPs on Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who was made Women and Equalities Minister in April, attended the briefing in Downing Street on Monday. Former home secretary Amber Rudd was present, along with ex-education secretary Justine Greening and Maria Miller, chairwoman of the Commons Women and Equalities Committee.

Mrs May was reportedly told there is growing support among Tories for reform to be introduced.

Maria Miller told the Guardian a referendum in Northern Ireland on the matter would help inform the next Stormont Executive. She said irrespective of how the government wanted to act, there would be a free vote held.

"It is preferable to have anything done in this area reflecting the will of the people of Northern Ireland, not imposed from Westminster,” she said.

Downing Street has made it clear the Government believes the situation should be dealt with by Stormont once the Northern Ireland Assembly is restored.

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