48 hours to go!
Be part of the fight to keep our hard-won rights enshrined in British law.
Some politicians think we should abandon the rule of law during Brexit. They want to pretend that British people voted to give up the rights that have improved the lives of everyone. Rights like social welfare, maternity leave and freedom from discrimination.
We want to urgently launch a campaign to defend our political, social, and economic rights, which are now at risk. We will build a broad coalition that will fight hard to keep our rights safe from hostile quarters.
We need your support to commission a Rights Report that will be the backbone of the campaign, drafted by expert EU and human rights lawyers and which will be launched at a political rally.
Now more than ever, in uncertain political times, we need to fight for our human rights and we need to act fast because:
The Great Repeal Bill / Article 50 trigger
The UK Parliament will be afforded an opportunity to debate the application of existing EU laws in this process. There are vast issues to be discussed and amongst these we need to exert pressure for rights, that are not enshrined in domestic legislation, and need to be captured.
The British Bill of Rights
When the government chooses to repeal or amend the Human Rights Act 1998, and incorporate ECHR rights into new legislation, there will be another opportunity to argue that existing EU law rights must be enshrined into any new legal framework.
An uncertain Lord Chancellor
Since taking office, Liz Truss has displayed a lack of assuredness and knowledge on her far-reaching brief at the Ministry of Justice, most dramatically displayed in her mealy-mouthed response to attacks on the separation of powers. She needs more time to understand some of the stark constitutional, domestic and international politico-legal challenges since Brexit. We need to set the agenda.
General Election 2017?
There remains a possibility that Theresa May could attempt to force a general election next year, perhaps as early as May, to obtain a mandate for her Brexit plan. Reorienting the issue of human rights now could crucially affect manifesto pledges by the UK’s main political parties.
If we let these politicians dictate the political agenda, they will use the current confusion to turn the clock back on our human rights. They will use the Brexit vote as an excuse to put the rights of corporations, foreign and domestic, over the rights of the ordinary people of this country.
The time has come for more, not fewer, rights enshrined in UK domestic law. We are campaigning to make sure the social and economic rights that enhance our human dignity are not lost.
Theresa May wants to push through a Brexit deal. Unfortunately for her the High Court has reaffirmed the sovereignty of our Parliament, reminding our Prime Minister that she cannot simply do whatever she wants. If she wants to take away our rights, she must go through the Parliamentary process. There is now a narrow window to ensure Parliament does not allow for the removal or curtailment of the political, social, and economic rights that you depend on every day.
With your help we can:
a) produce a policy report that clarifies which laws are at risk and need retaining;
b) galvanise support for society’s values at a political rally;
c) make the politicians understand how many care about these rights and laws.
The first 400 donations to this campaign will have an advance option to attend the rally event which will take place in London before the end of 2016.
Which rights are we talking about?
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (‘The Charter’) is often confused with the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) as the principles laid out in each overlap. The Charter applies to EU Member States when implementing EU law and it is enforced by the EU courts in Luxembourg.
Although the Charter protects many of the same human rights as the ECHR, it also provides for some important additional protections such as in the fields of data protection and economic rights. In cases where the Charter provides for stronger protection than the ECHR, these extended rights will generally be lost when the UK withdraws from the EU. EU law also currently provides a number of additional human rights protections outside of the Charter framework.
What will we lose?
The extent to which rights will remain post-Brexit partly depends on the way in which particular laws were implemented in the UK. For example, where European Directives have been implemented via primary legislation in the UK (of which the Equality Act 2010 is an example), that legislation will remain part of English law on Brexit - although there are already some indications that the government is minded to start rolling some of these rights back.
Conversely, European Regulations that have direct effect in the UK without the need for implementing legislation (e.g. data protection regulation) would fall away on Brexit unless legislation was passed transposing those laws into UK domestic law. This campaign will address non-ECHR, non-UK domestic law rights which could be lost. The non-exhaustive list of rights concerned include:
- Right to privacy and protection of personal data (including the General Data Protection Regulation 2018)
- Victims’ Rights (right to be recognised and treated in a respectful, professional and non-discriminatory manner)
- Freedom of the arts and sciences (so that the arts and scientific research shall be free from constraint and codifies that academic freedom shall be respected)
- Right to conduct a business (enabling individual aspirations and expression to flourish, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation and social and economic development)
- other rights and principles contained in the Solidarity Charter
Now more than ever, in uncertain political times, we need to fight for our human rights. We need your support to commission a Rights Report that will be the backbone of the campaign, drafted by expert EU and human rights lawyers and which will be launched at a political rally.
89up is a campaigns agency that has a proud history of working with human rights and civil society organisations to hold governments and big business to account. We will build a broad coalition that will fight hard to keep our rights safe from hostile quarters. This urgent campaign will set the agenda on what politicians can do and say about your hard-won rights.
Thank you for your support.
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