§ Sir Geoffrey Howe
I have been asked to reply.
It would be premature to say what reform might be brought forward in England and Wales ahead of the English Law Commission's report later this year on divorce. In considering any proposals the Government will be concerned to support marriage and the family and to ensure that those contemplating divorce recognise in advance the consequences of divorce, especially for their children, and wherever possible either draw back from it or at least make arrangements to provide a firm basis for the future upbringing and support of their children.
The Scottish Law Commission issued a report on reform of the ground for divorce in 1989 and recommended that the Divorce (Scotland) Act 1976 should be amended.
These proposals are embodied in clause 53 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Bill which is presently before the House of Commons.