European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:18 pm on 7th September 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:18 pm, 7th September 2017

In a moment.

There are some elements that simply will not make sense if they remain on the UK statute book once we have left the EU and in the years and decades to come. It would not make sense, for example, for the Bill to preserve the supremacy of EU law or to make the preserved EU law supreme over future legislation passed by this Parliament. Laws passed in these two Houses after exit day will take precedence over retained EU law.

We also do not believe that it would make sense to retain the charter of fundamental rights. The charter applies only to member states when acting within the scope of EU law. We will not be a member state, nor will we be acting within the scope of EU law, once we leave the European Union. As I said to the House when I published the White Paper on the Bill, the charter catalogues the rights found under EU law that will be brought into UK law by the Bill. It is not, and never was, the source of those rights. Those rights have their origins elsewhere in domestic law or relate to international treaties or obligations that the UK remains party to—for example, the European convention on human rights.