October 21, 2019

One step closer – regulations laid in Parliament

The Government has today confirmed its intention to introduce the law change we want on 2 December 2019. If this happens – and given the requirement to give 28 days’ notice for a civil partnership – this means that mixed-sex couples will be allowed to form civil partnerships from 31 December, as the relevant Act decrees. 

However, these are uncertain times in Parliament and there is a risk of delay. 

We have been warned that, should there be an General Election, the parliamentary time given to the Bill might be delayed. Unfortunately this is out of our – and the Government Equality Office’s – hands. 

If there is a General Election,  the regulations would come into force on the day after the day they are made (i.e. signed by the Minister following the debates). It is possible that could be after 2 Dec, meaning those giving 28 days notice immediately will have to wait until early Jan for their Civil Partnership.

Martin Loat, Chair of the ECP campaign said, “We are pleased and relieved to have this information from the Government, having waited since the Bill received Royal Assent in March. While we obviously can’t do anything about the timing of a General Election, we would be disappointed if it meant a delay in people being able to give notice for their civil partnership. But this could happen. 

Our current advice for couples wanting to book an early civil partnership would be to be aware of the 28 day gap between the law coming in and the ability to actually make a Civil Partnership. 

Some will want to await the final date to avoid later disappointment. 

We are aware that some people have already booked for 31stDecember or early in January and our hopes are with you that all regulations will be completed by 2 Dec to allow that to happen.”

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