Northern Ireland Betrayed by London
October 21 will be remembered as a black day in the history of Northern Ireland. Despite the DUP’s last-ditch attempt to restore the Assembly at Stormont, Sinn Féin and five other parties stayed away from the meeting, and effectively sabotaged any progress, and so have handed abortion legislation back to London. In July the London government ignored the strong demand of the majority to protect the unborn child by law. Now NI is open to the unregulated practice of abortion in the absence of a functioning Assembly. Not least, this usurping of power reduces the devolved power of criminal justice and policing in NI. From October 22, the NI laws on abortion will be revoked, and a five-month consultation on how abortion will be provided will begin. At the same time, we can be sure that London will insist that NI will not differ from mainland Britain.