The EU Withdrawal Bill’s stated aim is to set out the means for the retention of EU law in the UK after Brexit. However, the current Bill deliberately excludes the Charter of Fundamental Rights from retention, with the Government arguing that these Charter rights can all be found in other pieces of legislation or regulations that will be retained.
Many organisations are very concerned that this is not the case – there are some significant areas of Charter rights not found elsewhere such as wider data protection rights, a right to asylum, a right to education and an overarching right to non-discrimination. In addition, organisations question how rights under EU retained law can be enforced in domestic law.
After considerable lobbying by organisations, many MPs raised these issues in the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Bill. As a result, the government has agreed to bring forward its own amendments at Report Stage for the purposes of clarifying the principles that allow citizens to take legal action against the government. They have also said that they will issue a memorandum that sets out where the Charter rights can be found elsewhere in UK law.
You can read the Civil Society Brexit Project briefing on the EU Withdrawal Bill here – this includes links to briefings and submissions from lobbying organisations.
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