Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU)

Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered on 23rd October 2017.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will place the assessment undertaken by his Department into the areas in EU law which will comprise the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Library.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

There are no plans to publish such an assessment. The Charter was not intended to create new rights but rather to catalogue the rights that already existed in EU law. The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill sets out how this underlying law is being converted into UK law at the point we exit the EU.

Furthermore, the Charter is not the only source of fundamental rights. Many of the rights protected in the Charter are not only found in EU law but are protected in domestic law and other international instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights.

For example, the right to protection of personal data (Article 8 of the Charter) is based on provisions in the EU Treaties, the Data Protection Directive (due to be replaced by an EU Regulation) and the respect for private life in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is given effect domestically by the Human Rights Act 1998. It is also a general principle of EU law.

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