Charter of Fundamental Rights – Government Report

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice 3:00 pm, 21st November 2017

I know that my hon. Friend is an expert on these matters because of her time in the European Parliament. I shall be addressing data protection directly, but I shall be happy to give way to her again in due course.

The other argument that has been made about the charter is “If it does nothing wrong or does nothing by itself, where is the harm in keeping it?” However, as was pointed out by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe, the charter applies to member states only when they are acting within the scope of EU law. Indeed, it is a specific device intended to codify—not create—rights, and apply them to EU member states and other EU institutions operating within the framework of EU law. It would be curious, if not perverse, to incorporate that instrument directly in UK law, or implement it, at the very moment when we ceased to have the relevant obligations as a member of the EU.