26 June 2018, The EU Withdrawal Act became law but did not encapsulate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This Charter was key to supporting our domestic rights and the framework in which they are enshrined. UK ministers will have the powers to amend primary legislation without recourse to full parliamentary scruitiny under a new Repeal Bill. Fundamental laws like the Modern Slavery Act, the Equality Act, the Data protection Act, protection of the rights of the child, fair trial rights, refugee rights and academic freedom are all at risk.
There are many civil society groups engaged in the fight to ensure that all the protections we have in place today are not diluted when we leave the EU. The UK needs a robust Charter of Fundamental Rights and non discrimination laws that are transparent and cannot be tampered with by ministers.
The impact of Brexit on our equality and human rights will depend on the laws that are passed to deal with leaving the EU.
- The protections in the Equality Acts 2006 and 2010 will be retained after we leave the EU
- Workers’ rights that arise from EU law will continue to be available in the UK
- Current European Court (CJEU) case law will be preserved, but the Bill will not provide any role for the CJEU in the interpretation of new laws and will not require our courts to consider future CJEU’s case law
- The Charter of Fundamental Rights will be removed from UK law
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union brings together the essential human rights of everyone living in the European Union. This means when Britain leaves the EU, the Government have said the Charter will no longer have effect in UK law.