STUDENT
ID: 1702132

 

      HOW
SAFE IS THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTS 1998 WITH REGARDS TO BREXIT?

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Brexit
simply means the divorce of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The
term “Brexit is the merging of two words namely, “Britain and Exit and the term
has been widely used ever since the idea of a referendum was put forward”.1
The Human Rights Acts 1998 on the other hand is a “UK law passed in 1998 which
lets all individuals defend their rights in the UK courts and it compels public
organisations including the government, police, and local councils to treat
every person equally with fairness, dignity and respect.2

This
is piece however, is going to talk about how safe the Human Rights Acts 1998 is
going to be with regards to Brexit. I personally think that the Human Rights
Acts 1998 is not going to be safe after Brexit has taken place.

 

People
who are against my stand are likely to say that after Brexit has taken place,
the United Kingdom is going to be more powerful than before and easier to live
in. This is because, the United Kingdom will become more independent and is not
going to abide by the laws of the European Union when it comes to the Human
Rights but rather, it is going to create its own laws which is said to be able
to suit the government and the people as a whole.

 

However,
Ben Kentsh says that leaving the European Union puts the Human Rights Act 1998
in danger. “This is because, the government’s Brexit bill gives the ministers
the power to make changes to legislation whenever they want”.3

Currently,
the United Kingdom has not yet left the European Union but has been given about
two years to take the divorce which was started in March 2017. Even with this,
close to about 40 billion pounds has been put into the process which could even
be the United Kingdom’s worst mistake whereas that money could have been used
for something that could really help with further development of the country,
this is actually waste of money. According to Clive Baldwin, “even with less
than two years to go, it is still not clear what human rights protections
people living the United Kingdom are going to lose after Brexit” but this is
all the same going to have a serious effect on the Human Rights Acts 1998. He
also said that the government has promised not to take away the effectiveness
of the key employment and equality guarantees that UK citizens and residents
enjoy under the European Union Law.4
 

 

However,
the government is going to replace the Human Rights Acts 1998 with the British
Bill of Rights and Responsibilities which is said to protect the people in UK
just like the way the Human Rights Acts does and even better. But what the
people in the United Kingdom seem to turn a blind eye to is that, our rights
are still at risk since the British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities is
likely to weaken the rights of the people leaving the politicians in power to
decide when the fundamental freedoms to apply.5  Which clearly shows that instead of the
political leaders to work for the people of the United Kingdom and looking for
ways to better their lives, they are rather thinking of how to work at their
selfish gains since Brexit is going to give them more power than before over
the people.

 

Although
the government is planning on replacing the Human Rights Act with the British
Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, “the European Convention on Human Rights
decisions may not be enforced in the UK courts although the UK is bound under
the international Law by the United Nations Council”.6

 

People
in favour of Brexit are going likely to argue once again that, leaving the
European Union does not affect the rights which are under the European
Convention on Human Rights because, it comes from the Council of Europe and not
the European Union. Therefore, the impact of Brexit on the Human Rights Acts
will depend on the laws that are passed to deal with leaving the European
Union.

However,
the White Paper on a Great Repeal Bill which was published on 30 March 2017
provides some clarity about how equality and human rights concerns will be
addressed.7

This
brings me to David Davis’ declaration on the front page of the withdrawal bill
that the United Kingdom’s provisions are compatible with the European
Convention on Human Rights. But in the explanatory notes to the bill, is a very
unusual attempted power grab.

 

Drifting
to the area of the disabled, disabled benefits are another area the European
Union had great impact on the UK policy. Due to the regulation on the
coordination of the social security systems in the year 2004, people from the
United Kingdom can live in other countries of the European Union and receive
benefits like the personal independence payments.8

Also,
the European Union brought about the European Accessibility Act. This aimed at
the improvement of the work of the market, most especially the inner market for
the people with disabilities as well as old people by taking out barriers which
were created by the divergent legislation. However, if the United Kingdom
should leave the European Union it will not be bound by this directive.9

 

Again,
“British citizens and other non-citizens living in the United Kingdom enjoy a
lot of benefits as a result of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European
Union. So, leaving the European Union is going to have some negative effects
since those privileges are going to be lost. Besides that, it is also possible
that, people from other European Union countries who have stays here based on
work and educational purposes will have to start the process all over again. This
is more or less going to be like torture to most people who fall under that
category especially single mothers and financially unstable individuals”.

 

“British
laws that protects the maternity leave rights of workers and also protect them
from all sort of discrimination for example, come from the European Union
directives. The European court of justice has developed some of these rights on
equal pay for equal work as well as equal access to state pensions. If Brexit
should happen, there is a high possibility that, European Union labour rights
of the people living in the United Kingdom as well as the citizens of the
country are going to be breached.”10

 

 Recently, the Tories stripped the right to
equality from the European Union withdrawal bill. Jack Peat said that, “the
Conservative party narrowly voted against the Labour party’s bid to retain the
European Union human rights measures in the UK law Post Brexit by 311 votes to
301 on 21st November, 2017. Just one conservative MP by name, Ken
Clarke, defied the government whip and voted for the motion to retain the
European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights, put forward by Jeremy Corbyn.”11

 

The
opposition are finally going to say that, there is one thing that is likely not
to change is that, the English Courts are globally known to be a meeting where
people in a lawsuit can be confident that, their disputes will definitely be
determined fairly on their inborn advantages.

What
they seem to also ignore is that the exit of the United Kingdom from the
European Union means that people will not be able to take cases that they are
not satisfied with to the European court in Strasbourg and Brussels which means
some serious cases can be judged wrongly. Which brings about the implication
that the right to a fair trial of the people could be breached.

 

In
conclusion, I still think the Human Rights Act is not going to be safe after
Brexit because, a lot privileges that the people of the United Kingdom get from
the European Union will be lost since the UK government have said that once the
United Kingdom leaves the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of
the European Union will no longer have effect.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      
BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Baldwin Clive, ‘Will
human rights still be protected after UK Brexit?’ (Human
Rights Watch, 18 July 2017),
, accessed 6 January 2018

 

Casla Koldo, ‘The
UK must commit to social rights for its citizens after Brexit’ (The conversation, 14 August 2017), , accessed 7 December 2017

 

Fruen Lauren and Mullin Gemma, ‘What is Brexit, when will Britain leave
the EU and what happens after March 29 2019?’ (THE
SUN, 8th December 2017), , accessed 18 December 2017

 

Inch Martin, ‘Brexit
and human rights ‘ (Disability
rights UK, 4 September 2017), , accessed 2 January 2018

 

Kentsh Ben, ‘UK
human rights ‘put at risk’ by Brexit bill, warns senior academic’ (Independent, 14 September 2017), < http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-human-rights-brexit-bill-risk-leave-eu-courts-laws-tobias-lock-university-of-edinburgh-a7947451.html> accessed 18
December 2017

 

Montero Alphonso, ‘What
does Brexit mean for people with disabilities?’ (The
Guardian, 14 August 2017), , accessed 6 January 2018

 

Packet Jack, ‘Tories
strip “right to equality” from EU withdrawal Bill’ (The
London Economic, 22 November
2017), accessed 9 January
2018

 

 

No author, ‘THE
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT’ (Liberty), accessed 18
December 2017

 

No author, ‘What
does Brexit mean for equality and human rights in the UK?’ (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 20 July 2017),  accessed 31 December 2018

 

1 Lauren Fruen and Gemma Mullin, ‘What is Brexit, when will Britain leave
the EU and what happens after March 29 2019?’ (THE
SUN, 8th December 2017) , accessed 18 December 2017

 

2 No author, ‘THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT’ (Liberty) accessed 18
December 2017

                       

3 Ben kentsh, ‘UK human rights ‘put at risk’ by Brexit
bill, warns senior academic’ (Independent, 14 September 2017),< http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-human-rights-brexit-bill-risk-leave-eu-courts-laws-tobias-lock-university-of-edinburgh-a7947451.html> accessed 18
December 2017

 

4 Clive Baldwin, ‘Will human rights still be protected
after UK Brexit?’ (Human Rights
Watch, 18 July 2017), , accessed 6 January 2018

 

5 No author, ‘THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT’ (Liberty) , accessed 18
December 2017

 

6 Martin
Inch, ‘Brexit and human rights ‘ (Disability rights UK, 4 September 2017) , accessed 2 January 2018

 

7 No
author, ‘What does Brexit mean for
equality and human rights in the UK?’ (Equality
and Human Rights Commission, 20
July 2017),  accessed 31 December 2018

 

8 Alphonso
Montero, ‘What does Brexit mean for
people with disabilities?’ (The
Guardian, 14 August 2017), , accessed 6 January 2018

 

9
ibid.

10 Koldo
Casla, ‘The UK must commit to social
rights for its citizens after Brexit’ (The
conversation, 14 August 2017) , accessed 7 December 2017

 

11 Jack
packet, ‘Tories strip “right to
equality” from EU withdrawal Bill’ (The
London Economic, 22 November
2017)accessed 9 January
2018

 

Author