The Northern Ireland economy could be slipping into recession, according to a survey by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and BDO.It suggests more than three quarters (77%) of respondents believe a recession is likely in the next six to 12 months.More than 200 firms that collectively employ 25,000 people in NI took part.Businesses were asked what impact the ongoing political uncertainty has had on their operations. NI economy 'may have already entered recession' Construction sector 'may be in recession' NI chamber chief executive Ann McGregor said: "These figures are tangible warning signs about current economic conditions in Northern Ireland, with this quarter's performance being arguably the weakest in almost a decade."Two thirds (67%) said they were very concerned about the impact that the lack of an executive will have on their business.'Not scaremongering'Two thirds of respondents said they have experienced a negative impact as a result of Brexit related uncertainty in terms of … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland’s economy could be slipping into recession, says survey
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Same-sex marriage has been one of the main sticking points in the negotiations to restore the Northern Ireland Assembly. After two-and-a-half years of stalemate, Westminster set a deadline for MLAs to get back to work or have decision taken out of their hands. So where do couples stand right now and how soon could change take effect? What is the current legal position in Northern Ireland? Same-sex marriage is still banned in Northern Ireland, more than five years after it was legalised in Great Britain.No same-sex couple is legally recognised as a married couple within Northern Ireland's borders, even if they were legally married elsewhere in the UK.Marriage is a devolved matter which means each UK jurisdiction sets its own laws on the subject.But the Northern Ireland Assembly has not passed any legislation since it collapsed in January 2017 after a row between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin. What about same-sex couples who married outside Northern Ireland? … [Read more...] about Q&A: Same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
Gary and Tom Rowntree-Finlay got married last year in Cyprus, but are planning a second ceremony now that same-sex marriage has been legalised in Northern Ireland.The new legislation says the Westminster government must bring in regulations to provide for same-sex marriage by 13 January 2020.Northern Ireland's first same-sex weddings are set to take place in February.Same-sex marriages have been allowed in England, Scotland and Wales since 2014. The Glengormley couple met more than 10 years ago and have lived together for the last nine years. "We thought that our relationship could only take one more step and that was to get married," said Tom."It seemed like the biggest, most important thing I've ever done."Since same-sex marriage was illegal at home, Gary and Tom said they felt that they had to leave Northern Ireland to get married. "We couldn't even have a token wedding here. Morally it didn't feel right," said Gary.Next year, their wedding will be legally recognised, he said."Once … [Read more...] about Same-sex couple to re-marry in Northern Ireland
Abortion in Northern Ireland has been decriminalised, after the laws changed at midnight. That means women and girls can terminate a pregnancy without fear of being prosecuted.The possibility of prosecution is also lifted from healthcare workers.In this interim period from now until March, those affected will continue to travel to England for medical terminations. Clock is ticking for NI abortion law NI abortion law found to breach human rights How many abortions are carried out in the UK? However, information can be shared and medical assistance provided for any women who have taken medication. The Department of Health, alongside a consultation, will be working with front line medical staff who deliver information and medical services to identify agreed policies and guidelines, which will bring services into line with the rest of the UK by 1 April 2020. While some are hailing this as a momentous change for women's human and reproductive rights, others are describing it as a … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland abortion law changes: What do they mean?
Abortion has been decriminalised and same-sex marriage is to be legalised in Northern Ireland.Legislation making the changes - which was passed by MPs at Westminster - came into force at midnight.The first same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland are set to take place in February 2020.The government has until the end of March to come up with regulations for the provision of abortion services. NI parties fail in bid to stop abortion law change Reaction to failed bid to stop abortion law change As it happened - MLAs return to Stormont The legislation took effect after the 21 October deadline passed without a devolved government being re-formed.The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) - and some politicians from other unionist parties - triggered a recall of the Northern Ireland Assembly in an attempt to block the lifting of a near-ban on terminations. The assembly at Stormont had not sat for more than 1,000 days after devolved government collapsed when power-sharing coalition partners the DUP … [Read more...] about Northern Ireland abortion and and same-sex marriage law change deadline passes