Trade Bill - EHRC briefing - House of Lords Third Reading

Posted On: 
20th March 2019

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a briefing ahead of the Third Reading of the Trade Bill in the House of Lords.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a briefing for tomorrow’s Third Reading of the Trade Bill in the House of Lords which can be found on our website here (apologies for this late provision; the amendments we are briefing upon were tabled late yesterday). This is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure:

  • No diminution of existing equality and human rights legal framework as we leave the EU; and
  • The UK remains a global leader on equality and human rights after leaving the EU.

The purpose of the Trade Bill is to ‘roll over’ existing trade agreements the EU already has in place with other countries. It provides for ministers to make regulations to amend primary legislation of retained EU law when seeking to incorporate the terms of re-negotiated trade deals into UK law, that will replace existing EU trade deals which the UK will no longer be a party to after Brexit.

In our briefing we support Lord Stevenson’s Amendment to Clause 2, which amends the Government Amendment tabled by Baroness Fairhead. The Government’s Amendment provides an additional constraint on the exercise of delegated powers contained in Clause 2(1) of the Bill. It requires that any regulations pertaining to the protection of human, animal or plant life or health; animal welfare; environmental protection; employment and labour are consistent with maintaining current levels of protection. Lord Stevenson’s Amendment adds human rights to the list.