Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:45

TORY GOVERNMENT “ON THE ROPES” AS SNP MPs SET TO BACK EU WITHDRAWAL BILL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS

The SNP has said that the UK government is now “firmly on the ropes” - and facing defeat in the Chamber today (Tuesday) - with SNP MPs set to back an amendment put down by Tory rebels calling for the full protection of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights in post-Brexit domestic law.

Ahead of the third day of debate in Westminster the SNP will back the amendment tabled by Tory MP Dominic Grieve QC which allows the Charter to continue to apply domestically in the interpretation and application of retained EU law.

The SNP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson, Joanna Cherry QC MP added that the government must listen to the overwhelming legal advice which has warned against failing to incorporate the Charter with the rest of retained EU law, and warned that the repeated reluctance of successive UK governments to fully incorporate UN human rights treaties, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law, show that the UK government cannot be trusted to protect citizens’ rights.

Joanna Cherry QC MP, commented:

“Theresa May’s flailing government must drop its ideological opposition to the EU Fundamental Charter of Human Rights – which offers protection over a wide range of key rights not otherwise protected in domestic law – and ensure that it has its rightful place in our law.  

“Today’s (Tuesday) vote is not just crucial in protecting human rights and equality in a post-Brexit UK, it is pivotal in reminding this Tory government of its slim parliamentary majority, and that it cannot simply force through its flawed EU Withdrawal Bill without proper scrutiny. This Tory government is now firmly on the ropes.

"There are grave concerns about the impact of the EU Withdrawal Bill on human rights, including the government’s plans to remove the ability of businesses and individuals to challenge EU retained law on the basis that it contravenes the rights laid down in the general principles of EU law.

“That is why the SNP will work with MPs across Westminster to prevent a cliff-edge Brexit, and will back the amendment brought forward by Dominic Grieve QC MP over protecting the Charter for Fundamental Rights.

“It is essential that the EU Bill is scrutinised line by line to ensure that all current protections for equality and human rights are incorporated into domestic law.  The UK government must not resort to a race to the bottom by abandoning rights that have played a central role in our day to day lives."

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