The Human Rights Consortium Scotland strongly welcomes the First Minister’s commitment to ‘ensure existing and relevant future human rights protections provided under EU Law are maintained following UK withdrawal’. However, as the EU Withdrawal Bill is debated at Westminster, many human rights organisations and others are raising significant concerns about the Bill’s potential impact on rights.
Liberty and Amnesty International said:
‘[We] believe that in its current (imprecise) form this Bill poses a significant risk to the rule of law and to fundamental rights. As drafted, its extraordinary handover of lawmaking power from Parliament to Ministers reorders the UK’s historic constitutional balance and puts domestic rights and equality protections at risk. We urge Members to question that blank cheque and insert clear safeguards against misuse of new powers into the Bill. Further, we recommend Members press for amendments to ensure existing rights and equality standards are maintained. Leaving the EU must not result in ordinary people losing their rights.”
Read their briefing on the Bill here: https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/sites/default/files/Liberty%20and%20AIUK%20brief%20for%202nd%20reading%20Repeal%20Bill.pdf
The Law Society of Scotland have also highlighted that excluding the Charter of Fundamental Rights leaves open the possibility of an erosion of rights in the UK.
Meanwhile, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has issued a damning report calling the Bill’s transfer of powers to the executive ‘unprecedented and extraordinary’ and says ‘it is a source of considerable regret that the Bill is drafted in a way that renders scrutiny very difficult, and that multiple and fundamental constitutional questions are left unanswered.’
Read the report here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldconst/19/19.pd
For clear information and insight into influencing the Brexit process and consequences of Brexit for your organisation, come along to ‘Brexit means what?’ events in October – see here for details: https://hrcscotland.org/upcoming-events-brexit-means-what/
Image credit: UK Parliament, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0