A group of Conservative Members of Parliament have called on the Prime Minister to confirm that any future Conservative Government will ensure the the UK remains signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights after Brexit.
Dominic Grieve QC MP, Maria Miller MP and the Dame Caroline Spelman MP are getting behind a policy campaign by the centre right Bright Blue think tank, which also includes a petition. The MPs are also working with Bright Blue as part of a Commission which will report in the Spring. Maria Miller said:
The European Convention on Human Rights has been crucial to reducing discrimination towards – and protecting the human rights of – people in this country and in more oppressive countries across the continent. As we leave the European Union, we should be clear we are not leaving Europe: the UK should remain a proud signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In late-December, it was reported by the Telegraph that the Prime Minister plans to fight the 2020 election on a platform of leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The newspaper reported that the PM plans to “lift and shift” rights protections so people in the UK can only seek rights protections in UK courts.
The ECHR is an international treaty which the United Kingdom signed up to after World War II. It contains a list of human rights and fundamental freedoms necessary to live a dignified life. The UK was instrumental in drafting the treaty and was amongst the first signatories in 1950. It came into force in 1953.
The Human Rights Act (HRA) is a piece of UK law which incorporates the list of ECHR rights into UK law. The government had previously promised to replace the HRA with a ‘British Bill of Rights’, but those plans appear to have been abandoned, or significantly delayed, because of the Brexit Referendum.
Please note, this article was written before the 2017 general election was called.
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Featured images: Tom Evans (Theresa May) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Dominic Grieve) on Flickr