EHRC briefing - EU (Withdrawal) Bill - 3rd Reading, House of Lords

Posted On: 
15th May 2018

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a briefing for the Third Reading of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a briefing for the Third Reading of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which can be found here.

This briefing provides a short overview of progress made to date to ensure the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is amended to deliver the Government's commitment to non-regression of equality and human rights protections as we leave the EU.

We highlight the amendments we consider need to be maintained in order to safeguard the UK's equality and human rights legal framework and ensure that the UK remains a global leader on equality and human rights after leaving the EU. This includes amendments we have supported to:

  • retain the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the right to bring a claim based on breach of general principles of EU law;
  • ensure our courts can properly consider future judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) where it is relevant to any matter before the court; and
  • introduce enhanced scrutiny over the use of delegated powers to amend equality rights.

We consider that it is critical that these important amendments are upheld when the Bill returns to the Commons.

Despite these positive developments, we highlight a number of areas where we remain concerned. In particular, constraints on the use of delegated powers under the Bill to amend equality legislation do not go far enough to prevent non-regression, and safeguards to protect equality and human rights legislation beyond the Human Rights Act 1998 were not agreed.