Charter of Fundamental Rights – Government Report

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 2:30 pm, 21st November 2017

I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman, who has made the point much more effectively than I did. That is absolutely right.

Briefly, Francovich raises some important issues of accountability. Surely there is oversight by Government, because I would expect them to accept that the right to damages should be available in cases where the breach of Community law took place before exit day, and indeed before the end of a transitional period, but discovery only took place afterwards. I am therefore seeking clarification from Ministers on that point, and I hope that they accept what hon. Members are seeking to do in amendments on Francovich.

We are pleased to support new clauses 16, 78 and 79, as well as amendments 297, 298, 299, 8,10,101,105 and 62 and the consequential amendments 126 ,127,129,140, 141, 302 and 9—just for clarity. In conclusion, I return to amendment 46, because we need some honesty from the Government. The House has not authorised the Government to use Brexit as a vehicle to deplete human rights in this country. If the Government want to reduce rights and protections, they should say so and we can debate it. What is not acceptable is to pretend that the Bill provides for the transfer of rights and protections when it clearly does not.