Clause 56 - Disapplication of retained EU law deriving from Trafficking Directive

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:00 pm ar 2 Tachwedd 2021.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Assistant Whip, The Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury 2:00, 2 Tachwedd 2021

The trafficking directive—the directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims—was adopted by the UK on 5 April 2011. The Council of Europe convention on action against trafficking in human beings—ECAT—is the principal international measure designed to combat human trafficking. The trafficking directive is intended, in part, to give effect to ECAT. ECAT’s objective is to prevent and combat trafficking by imposing obligations on member states to investigate and prosecute trafficking as a serious organised crime and a gross violation of fundamental rights.

Following the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021, the UK is no longer bound by EU law, but ECAT remains unaffected. Therefore this Government intend, by means of clause 56, to disapply the trafficking directive in so far as it is incompatible with any provisions in the Bill. That will bring legislative certainty to the Bill and how its clauses will apply. It will also provide further clarity to victims about their rights and entitlements.

The Government maintain their commitment to identify and support victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, as part of the world-leading NRM. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and ECAT, which sets out our international obligations to victims, remain unaffected, as do the UK’s obligations under article 4 of the European convention on human rights.

I commend the clause to the Committee.