Charter of Fundamental Rights – Government Report

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Conservative, Beaconsfield 2:00 pm, 21st November 2017

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for his intervention. As I have said on many previous occasions, whatever merits I may have as a lawyer, I am not a parliamentary draftsman. On top of that, I gently point out that, in an effort to get my amendments in early, they were, in the usual way, drafted with a wet towel around my head at about 30 minutes past midnight on the night before Second Reading. I am therefore quite sure that they are all capable of substantial improvement. Indeed, in my experience, it is very unusual for an amendment ever to be accepted just like that, apart from when it adds a comma, particularly in Committee.

Yes, of course there are different ways in which this can be approached. Indeed, my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, with whom I have had an opportunity for a bit of a chat—I shall look forward to talking to him further about this—has made it clear that he thinks I have been a bit too draconian in deleting paragraphs 1, 2 and 3. On the other hand, there are some other things in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 that I find rather concerning. However, I shall confine myself to paragraph 3 for the moment.