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Rights, Standards and Protections

Volume 645: debated on Thursday 19 July 2018

6. What steps he is taking to ensure that there is no change to rights, standards and protections derived from the EU after the UK leaves the EU. (906540)

The UK has a long-standing tradition of ensuring that our rights and liberties are protected domestically, and of promoting high standards across a range of issues on the international stage. The EU withdrawal Act 2018 will ensure that, wherever practical, the same rights, standards and protections apply after exit. We will not engage in a race to the bottom in the standards and protections we set.

The recent White Paper committed the UK to membership of the European convention on human rights. Will the Minister confirm that the Human Rights Act 1998, which puts that in domestic law, embodies that commitment to the people of the UK and our European partners?

One of the most tangible benefits of the EU for my constituents is their ability to travel across the EU and not pay roaming charges on mobile phones. Will the Minister guarantee that once we leave the EU, my constituents will still be able to travel and not pay roaming charges?

The hon. Lady raises an interesting point. I do not see how it relates to rights, standards and protections, but we will be discussing the matter with commercial operators in the sector. A number of key UK providers have already said that they do not intend to apply roaming charges.

The question relates to when we leave the EU, and I have a little digital thing on my phone that says that we are going to leave in 253 days’ time. There has been a lot of talk in the media today about the Government considering extending the article 50 period and the exit date. Will the superb Minister lay that rumour to rest, and confirm that the Prime Minister will stick to her guns and that we will leave on 29 March next year?

I am happy to reassure my hon. Friend that, as it says in the EU (Withdrawal) Act, and as is clear in the White Paper, we are going to leave on 29 March next year.

21. The European arrest warrant is a protection, so will the Minister update us on whether, when we leave the EU, the negotiated position that his Government will arrive at with the EU will give us the same protections that we currently have to arrest and detain criminals, which my constituents are really concerned about? (906556)

We are very clear in the security partnership section of the White Paper that we are seeking the same levels of protection. We are seeking to engage with the EU on how these issues can be arranged between us so that we maintain the protections that we have now.