In a nutshell
A vote on whether to legalise human cloning for experiments on human embryos. MPs had liberty to vote according to their conscience.
On 19th December 2000 the House of Commons debated a Statutory Instrument amending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.1 The effect of this was to legalise cloning for the creation of embryos for research. Under the 1990 Act experimentation on embryos was legalised, but only for research into contraception and infertility (see Vote on Embryo Experiments).
This new Statutory Instrument would grant licences to extend the criteria for embryo research for the purposes of:
- “increasing knowledge about the development of embryos;
- increasing knowledge about serious disease, or
- enabling any such knowledge to be applied in developing treatments for serious disease.”2
The House of Commons Research Paper explaining the Statutory Instrument summed up its purpose as follows:
“…The Regulations will therefore extend the use of early embryos in research to include research into treatment of serious disease, including the use of embryos created by cell nuclear replacement for this purpose.”3
Cell Nuclear Replacement is another name for cloning. The motion was carried by 368 votes to 176.
How we recorded the vote
- Voted for research using human cloning
- Voted against research using human cloning
- Abstained or was absent on the vote for research using human cloning