Bishop of Leeds asks about potential breaches of international law in new legislation

The Bishop of Leeds asked a question about the importance of following international law on 2nd November 2022, during a debate following a government statement on national security:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I really welcome the Statement and the very full answers that the Minister has given. It is very encouraging. However, when the Statement refers to protection that defends our democratic institutions, it is not just external threats: there are internal threats that weaken our defences, such as putting draft legislation into Parliament that threatens to breach international law. If we uphold the rule of law, we cannot continue to do that.

Will the Minister give a commitment that the Government will not do this, as they did in the overseas operations Bill, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, and so on?

Just to encourage him, I suggest that a reading of President Steinmeier’s speech on 28 October to the German people sets in a very good context how a Government might approach some of the threats and the wider challenges that we face.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con): I thank the right reverend Prelate for that suggestion; I will read that speech, which to date I have not. He invites me to stray into areas where I would prefer not to go. There are differences of opinion when it comes to these laws; I will leave it there.


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