The United Kingdom has a long tradition of ensuring rights and liberties are protected domestically and of fulfilling its international human rights obligations. The decision to leave the European Union does not change this.
Last week, during evidence to the Brexit Committee, the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr Baker), said of the charter of fundamental rights:
“It is right that we leave behind the charter, and that we continue to rely on the Human Rights Act and the convention.”
Is it now the Government’s intention to stay in the European convention on human rights and to keep the Human Rights Act after Brexit?
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ensures that the source rights that underpin the EU charter of fundamental rights will continue to have effect in UK law after we leave the EU. The charter was created as a collection of all the laws that the EU had passed, and it would be wrong if, post our leaving the European Union, that charter continued to be cited in any future legal case.
Can the Minister assure us that when we leave—if we leave—the European Union, human rights will very much involve the ability to put right miscarriages of justice and that the Criminal Cases Review Commission will be strengthened rather than weakened by our leaving Europe?
When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union—[Interruption.] I speak as a remainer. When that happens, does the Minister agree that the Council of Europe will become an increasingly important interlocutor between this country and the European Union? Will he reiterate this Government’s commitment to staying in the European Court of Human Rights?