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European Union (Withdrawal) Bill - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 18th April 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 7:30 pm, 18th April 2018

I apologise for interrupting the Minister and thank her for allowing me to do so. Would it be so terrible if there were to be an audit of whether the UK had correctly implemented EU directives? The Government are marking their own homework if they say, “We’re not implementing the directives; we’re only going to freeze the domestic implementation”. However, if there is something wrong in the way that we have implemented a directive, then the Government are judge and jury of what will be retained.

At the risk of boring everybody—I will probably mention it again on Monday—I have cited before the directive on the European investigation order, which is about summoning evidence or maybe a witness to give a statement. It is the parallel to the European arrest warrant. The directive says that someone could challenge this in, say, a British court on the grounds of a breach of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Government have substituted for the charter the European Convention on Human Rights, which, as we know—we will be discussing it on Monday—is a bit narrower than the charter. Therefore, they have wrongly transposed the directive. Whether the European Commission is going to do anything about it, I do not know, but I remind myself that I want to find out. What happens if the Government have wrongly implemented the directive? What happens to people’s rights?