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 Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 2:45 pm, 21st November 2017

My hon. Friend reassures us that even without the charter of fundamental rights the House of Commons can be relied upon. That was the argument when the Lisbon treaty was being ratified. There was a widespread feeling that it was not clear whether it would add anything, but we now see that it has added quite a lot, particularly around privacy law, on which the House had never done anything, and now data protection. The lobbies brought to bear on the House if ever we look at privacy by sections of the media and so on are very considerable. Why are we getting rid of a convention that has done no harm and actually has run ahead of this House of Commons at various stages? What will be gained by not leaving open that opportunity for the future?