Stormont has just performed better than Westminster. Signs of a new era dawning for the Northern Ireland Assembly

Social distance voting at Westminster. Just as Westminster makes an ass of itself over voting against digital voting,  Stormont enters a more hopeful new era. It’s  complicated, even tortuous, but that’s a positive virtue compared  to the old familiar choice between deadlock and carve up. Correction I earlier reported the voting wrongly for lack of  information. It  was  even more complicated than I supposed. I’m  indebted to Sam McBride of the Newsletter for explaining how the DUP  and Sinn Fein …

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Update on abortion. Stormont and the medical establishment will obey the law

According to  BBC NI, Stormont has today complied with UK law.  Women will not have to travel by ferry to GB  for the procedure after all. Medical professionals in NI can now “terminate pregnancies lawfully”, the Department of Health has said. Last month, abortion laws changed to permit terminations up to 12 weeks, but this had not been put into practice. Some of NI’s health trusts had been told by the department not to proceed with temporary plans. The department has now said …

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Opening skirmishes continue before the desperate parliamentary battles to come..

Strictly speaking, the remarkable cross party  initiative to exploit the vacuum at Stormont and introduce abortion reform for NI is not about Brexit. But as diametrically opposed views about the governance and values of the Union are in contention, the two are inextricably linked. The little Ulster version of the Union is being challenged at last. The abortion initiative shows that like the struggles over Brexit, considerable numbers of Conservatives are prepared to put values and country above the interests …

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