As England debates the future status, role and purpose of civil partnership, its cross-border status should be brought into account. Whilst marriage is almost universally recognised around the world and civil partnership is recognised by those countries with their own civil partnership laws, the legal status of an English civil partnership is not recognised in a number of countries. The civil partners have no different status in law to cohabitants in those countries. This places them in a real difficulty. A little-known and surprising piece of law may come to their aid. But should civil partnerships be continued now there is same-sex marriage including in view of the position abroad?