Government's Refusal To Include Charter of Fundamental Rights Strips Us Of Vital Civil And Workplace Rights And Protections

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During the debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, I exposed the lie at the heart of the Tory Bill. They claim the Bill is about transferring EU law into UK law to facilitate Brexit, but by refusing to include the Charter of Fundamental Rights it is clear that this is really just a Tory power grab that strips us of vital civil and workplace rights and protections.

Stephen Kinnock: The right hon. and learned Gentleman is making a point that gets to the heart of the purpose of the Bill, as stated by the Government: this is a technical transfer exercise—it is technically transferring the acquis communautaire into British law to facilitate Brexit. Does not the decision not to transpose the charter of fundamental rights make a mockery of that claim? Although the right hon. and learned Gentleman is making very valid points about some of the technical alternatives, do we not need to keep returning the Government to their stated fundamental purpose in the Bill?

Mr Grieve: The hon. Gentleman makes a totally legitimate point, especially as the Government themselves have emphasised how important these issues are to them. We are not turning the clock back to the 1950s—at least, I do not think we are—since when this country has moved on in respect of rights. The challenge to Ministers is that they have to come up with some solution to the problem. As I said, I do not want to put spanners in the works of how they do it.