Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, aimed to retain the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and ensure that it would be transferred, with the rest of EU law, when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. 


48 Labour MPs voted against the amendment, including Daniel Zeichner, Chuka Umunna, Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant, Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Graham Stringer with many Conservatives, Scottish National Party MPs, Liberal Democrat MPs and Tory MP, Ken Clarke. The full list of voters may be seen here.

 Graphic and list below:

They include the rights: 

o    to life

o    not to be tortured, or experimented on against our will

o    to liberty and security

o    to private and family life

o    to freedom of thought and expression

o    to academic freedom

o    to education

o    to equality before the law

o    to fair and just working conditions

o    to be protected from unfair dismissal

o    to social security and protections

o    to vote

o    to good government

o    to freedom of movement

o    to a fair trial 

“The guarantee to the British people is that their Parliament will look after their rights.”  

    MP John Redwood argued, “the best guarantee of the fundamental rights of the British people is the will of the British people as expressed through the Parliaments they elect . . . The guarantee to the British people is that their Parliament will look after their rights.”

The former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, however, pointed out that “the whole point about the Human Rights Act was that it added to protections enjoyed under the common law and did so in a way that was compatible with this House’s sovereignty.”

He said that failing to incorporate the Charter into UK law after Brexit would send out a strange message about the Conservative’s approach to human rights, and urged peers to consider the issue when the bill passes to the House of Lords.

In the understatement of the year he added: “Nice as it is to rely upon the Executive’s goodwill … that goodwill is not something that we should always rely on”.

First published in Political Concern