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Chris Grayling: UK will keep EU workers' rights and eco laws

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Credit: ITV

The government will seek to keep some EU laws in the areas of environment and workers' rights post-Brexit, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said.

Speaking on ITV's Peston on Sunday, Mr Grayling said the public wants certainty on the issue of Britain leaving the EU, and endorsed Theresa May's announcement that Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March 2017.

"It's important that we give some certainty about the process," he said.

"Today's announcements are a staging post on the route towards triggering Article 50 and towards holding the negotiations."

The Transport Secretary also said that Britain would have a "sensible" agreement with the EU that allows the UK to continue to trade with the continent; and take control of the flow of people into Britain.


Britain bidding to share prison expertise with Saudi Arabia

An MP accused the government of trying to share a "best practice of how to behead" with Saudi Arabia after the Justice Secretary defended the Government's attempt to sell expertise to the country's prison service.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan slammed the MoJ bid for the £5.9 million contract.

Sadiq Khan slammed the MoJ bid for the £5.9 million contract. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling defended the move, saying the Government has always tried to encourage "improvements" and "best practice" in countries around the world.

The pair clashed after reports that the MoJ's commercial arm, Just Solutions international, is hoping to sell its expertise to Saudi Arabia's prison service.


Justice Secretary rejects human rights criticisms

Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has rejected criticism of his party's proposals to withdraw the UK from EU human rights law, stressing that he had consulted a range of QCs and other experts before producing the paper.

He also insisted the current Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, believed the plans were "fine, viable and legal" and pointed out that he had a longstanding disagreement on the issue with Mr Grieve - who was sacked in David Cameron's last reshuffle.

Vince Cable: Human rights plans a 'retrograde' step

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Proposed Conservative Party plans to pull the UK out of the European Court of Human Rights are a "very retrograde step" Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has said.

Speaking on a visit to Edinburgh, he continued:

We do value human rights in our society - it's what our democracy is all about - and we also value a system of law in which judges rather than politicians make the final decisions, and it's very important that we retain that core and that framework.

We would see a gradual decline in the credibility of our legal system because, essentially, in order to score cheap populist points, the legal system is being undermined and judges are being undermined.

– Vince Cable MP

Tory human rights plans contain 'number of howlers'

Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive

The former Attorney General has rubbished plans by the Conservative Party to strip the European court of their power to enforce human rights in the UK.

Dominic Grieve QC slammed proposals by the current attorney Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, saying that they contained a series of "howlers" and were not properly thought through and that there was already plans in motion to reform the European Court of Human Rights in Strausbourg.

"All courts are ultimately human constructs and they will sometimes get things right and sometimes get things wrong," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"In many cases there is a misunderstanding of what the court does.

Even the paper which has just been produced by my colleague Chris Grayling includes in it a number of howlers which are simply factually inaccurate.

One howler is...where it says that the court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has prevented the imposition of whole life tariffs on whole life tariff prisoners in this country.

It hasn't. Its judgment never said that."

Mr Grieve added: "It seems to me it is factually inaccurate in what it says, and that is unfortunate.

Because if one is going to approach a complex subject I think it is very important that we should all collectively adopt a moderate and measured approach towards explaining what the issues are and what can and cannot be done."

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