Charter of Fundamental Rights – Government Report

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 2:45 pm, 21st November 2017

My hon. Friend makes a considered and thoughtful point. Given the changes we are making—for the purposes of greater certainty and clarity—I respectfully suggest to my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield and other hon. Members across the House that it is worth having some clarity and certainty on this point.

I turn now to amendments 285 and 286. We discussed similar amendments from the leader of the Labour party on day one of the Committee in relation to clause 6, and for the same reasons given during that debate, we cannot support them. I note again what the Prime Minister said in her Florence speech:

The United Kingdom will cease to be a member of the European Union on the 29th March 2019”.

I will not speculate on the contents of the withdrawal agreement. The Government will do whatever is necessary to prepare for our exit and have already made it clear that separate primary legislation will be brought forward to implement the terms of the withdrawal agreement and any implementation period. With that in mind, the amendments would pre-empt and prejudge the outcome of the negotiations and introduce a straitjacket of inflexibility for the duration of any implementation period. We are all in the House committed to securing the very best deal with our EU friends and partners, and I respectfully suggest that the amendments would undermine that objective. I urge the leader of the Labour party not to press them.