UK vote clears the way for three-parent families
British MPs have voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man, in a historic move.
The vote means that the UK is now set to become the first country to introduce laws to allow the creation of babies from three people.
Prime Minister David Cameron voted for the measures, which carried 382 to 128, majority 254, after an intense 90-minute debate. Labour leader Ed Miliband and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg were also in favour.
In Dublin, reacting to the vote, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said there is no strong legislation in Ireland covering IVF treatments.
Asked about the proposed three parents technique he said: "It is something we will have to discuss this year.
"My intention for 2015 is to publish an outline of legislation in that area and have public consultation and probably a seminar.
"It will be interesting to see what people think. The procedure is essentially done to prevent a child inheriting a condition from which they can die," he said in an interview on Newstalk.
MPs were handed a free vote on the subject as it was an issue of conscience and several ministers, including Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and Attorney General Jeremy Wright, voted no. Others, such as Home Secretary Theresa May, stayed away.
Cheers could be heard in the Commons when the vote result was announced.
The statutory instrument still has to be agreed by peers before becoming law but once passed will mean Britain becomes the first country in the world to legalise the pioneering techniques.
There were 81 Conservatives and 31 Labour MPs opposed to the measures and calls were made for the debate to be extended to allow views to be more fully expressed.
Moving the plans, UK Health Minister Jane Ellison said the techniques offered the "only hope" for some women who carry mitochondrial disease to have "healthy, genetically-related children" who will not suffer from the "devastating and often fatal consequences" of mitochondrial disease.
Ms Ellison said mitochondrial donation had been subject to "extensive scrutiny" throughout the parliament, adding the government believed it was right for the current cohort of MPs to have a say on the next step.
She said mitochondrial DNA is 0.054pc of a person's overall DNA and none of the nuclear DNA which determines personal characteristics and traits.
She said: "We have within our reach the possibility of eradicating mitochondrial disease ."
"They have suffered daily battles with painfully debilitating symptoms and have sadly lost their children prematurely.
"Families who have had to face up to the risk or the certainty that to be a parent must come at the expense of a difficult and painful life for their children."