Together’s Assistant Research Officer presents to Cross Party Group on Brexit

Date: 27th February 2018
Category: Scotland-specific monitoring and reporting

Together's Assistant Research Officer presented at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Brexit to highlight the potential impact of Brexit on the rights of children and young people.

The meeting, held on the 30th January 2018, was facilitated by YouthLink Scotland and provided an opportunity for young people to engage meaningfully with MSPs. These discussions were interspersed with presentations from children and young people's organisations on three key themes: young people's voice in Brexit, young people's human rights and social mobility.

Together's Assistant Research Officer, Maria Doyle, presented on Brexit and young people's human rights. She considered the very broad impact that membership of the EU has had on children and young people, noting that the EU has enacted over 80 instruments which provide them with direct legal entitlements. These instruments range from areas such as family law and child protection, all the way through to environmental and consumer protections. The presentation also considered the relevance of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (the Charter), in particular Article 24, which brings core elements of the UNCRC into EU law.

At present, the UK Government's Withdrawal Bill proposes abandoning the Charter after Brexit. The presentation made clear that EU law relating to children's rights is an area which is constantly developing. The Charter has acted as a guiding light for EU law and policy-making and ihas influenced the ongoing development of EU law. Accordingly, Brexit means children and young people in Scotland may miss out on positive developments in the future.

The presentation concluded with two key message for the MSPs present:

  • that more needs to be done to raise awareness of the impact of Brexit on children and young people's human rights;
  • more needs to be done to ensure that children and young people's voices are heard throughout the Brexit process, at both Scottish and UK level.