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Brexit and Europe Brexit and Europe

Abandon the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Last updated: 03:22pm 12 February 2019

We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.37

Our verdict

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights sets out certain political, social and economic rights that EU institutions have to respect when exercising their powers or creating new laws, and that EU member states have to respect when they are implementing EU law. The charter does not apply to the implementation of UK law, and it is separate to the Europe Convention of Human Rights, which the UK remains signed up to (see this policy for more info).

The government committed to abandoning the EU charter of Fundamental Rights:

“The Charter of Fundamental Rights will not be incorporated into domestic law on exit day, but insofar as the rights and principles underpinning the Charter exist elsewhere in directly applicable EU law or EU law which has been implemented in domestic law, that law will be preserved and converted by the Bill.”

This has been confirmed in section 5.4 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 – stating that “The Charter of Fundamental Rights is not part of domestic law on or after exit day”.

It’s safe to say there is controversy over this policy due to concerns about how well protected human rights will remain in the UK after Brexit. It’s not easy to find impartial articles representing both sides of the argument, but we have included some articles below that give more detail than we can write here.

With the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in place, the government has delivered this promise to “not bring” the Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. This policy is therefore ‘done’.

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