Concerns raised over risks to human rights posed by EU Withdrawal Bill

Date: 21st September 2017
Category: General measures of implementation, Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

Several human rights organisations have raised significant concerns over the EU Withdrawal Bill's potential impact on human rights.

Organisations such as Amnesty International and The Law Society of Scotland have highlighted the risks that the EU Withdrawal Bill could pose to human rights in the UK owing to the lack of safeguards currently in place. Notably, the exclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights means that this will no longer be a part of UK domestic law after withdrawal from the EU.

This affects children's rights in particular as article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights addresses the rights of the child and enshrines in law that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration, that children's views should be taken into consideration on matters which concern them, and that every child has the rights to maintain contact with both of their parents. The EU Withdrawal Bill in its current form will therefore have a direct impact on children's rights in the UK.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has issued a report calling the Bill's transfer of powers 'unprecedented and extraordinary' and says 'it is a source of considerable regret that the Bill is drafted in a way that renders scrutiny very difficult, and that multiple and fundamental constitutional questions are left unanswered.'