Charter of Fundamental Rights – Government Report

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 21st November 2017.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Independent, North Down 3:30 pm, 21st November 2017

Just before the hon. and learned Lady comes to her list, may I add one more item to it? The Government have made great play of their commitment to the Good Friday agreement—the Belfast agreement—and stated that they are going to uphold all their obligations under it. One of those obligations relates to respect for human rights; indeed, that element has quite a large chapter in the agreement. Part of that obligation involves having, at the very least, an equivalence between human rights protections in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland. It is obvious that when the UK leaves the European Union, Northern Ireland will not have the protections afforded by the charter that we are discussing, but that the Republic of Ireland will. I hope that the hon. and learned Lady will therefore press the Government to fill that gap in Northern Ireland’s protection of fundamental rights.