The hon. Gentleman will not have too long to wait for the consultation, which I have already spoken about. We will release it towards the end of the autumn. He raises a very good question, but I hope he will understand if I do not jump the gun by being drawn before then on the substantive detail of our plans.
I understand the Minister’s reluctance to be drawn into the substantive detail, but could he give an indication of the intended direction of travel? For example, can he assure us that the rights of refugees seeking asylum on this island will not be deteriorated in any way as a result of the repeal of the Human Rights Act?
We are very clear about the absolute prohibition on torture, including in relation to the asylum regime. If the hon. Gentleman wants an overall steer, the major problems have been less with the text of the European convention than with its application. Some of those problems arise because of judicial legislation and others because of the operation of the Human
Rights Act. Those problems are acknowledged across the political spectrum, including by senior members of the judiciary.
As I have said, I am not going to go into the substance and the detail. We will have plenty of opportunity to discuss that. There is already some variable geometry in the Human Rights Act in relation to the procedural framework, so we will be interested to hear the views of the SNP and other parties on those aspects.