The British government’s European Union withdrawal bill will create a human rights deficit in the country, leaving many different groups in society without adequate protection, UK rights organizations have warned.
The rights groups, including Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) and Amnesty International, issued the warning in a joint letter published in British Daily, The Observer.
The organizations expressed profound concerns that a raft of rights will be discarded with no adequate replacement once the bill becomes law and the UK leaves the EU.
The Brexit bill “will not protect people’s rights in the UK as the government promised,” they say in the letter. “This is in large part because the bill removes the EU charter of fundamental rights from our law.”
“The government has promised there will be no rowing back on people’s rights after Brexit. If we lose the charter protections, that promise will be broken. It will cause legal confusion and there will be gaps in the law,” said David Isaac, the chair of the EHRC, the UK’s own independent human rights watchdog.
“While securing trade deals is vital for our economy, equality and human rights are also essential. They must also be the focus for the type of country we want to be after Brexit. Current protections must not be jeopardized,” he added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is currently under pressure to provide a meaningful plan for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, something she has failed to do more than a year after 52 percent of Britons voted in favor of Brexit in a referendum.
The House of Commons is set to vote on the Brexit bill amendments on Tuesday. The opposition Labour Party says it will propose retaining the EU rights charter during the debate.
Britons remain divided over leaving the EU, with some, including Blair saying the decision should be overturned. A number of lawmakers are arguing for a second public vote on the terms of the Brexit deal.